Ban on Retail Distribution of Methylene Chloride to Consumers for Paint and Coating Removal Begins November 23
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a press release on November 22, 2019, reminding stakeholders that its regulations to prohibit the manufacture (including import), processing, and distribution of methylene chloride in all paint removers for consumer use will go into effect after November 22, 2019. Beginning November 23, 2019, it will be unlawful for any person or retailer to sell or distribute paint removal products containing methylene chloride for consumer use, including e-commerce sales. EPA states that it “is encouraging all consumers to stop using methylene chloride products that they may have already purchased for paint and coating removal.” EPA also reminds all retailers that sales of these products to consumers are prohibited by EPA regulations under the authority of Section 6 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). EPA promulgated the final regulation on methylene chloride for consumer paint and coating removal use on March 27, 2019, and the prohibition related to manufacturing, processing and distribution of methylene chloride for consumer paint and coating removal use is now in effect. According to EPA, “[a] variety of effective, less harmful substitutes are readily available for paint removal.” EPA notes that it “is continuing to work through the process outlined in TSCA to review the risks associated with other uses of methylene chloride. This process is designed to thoroughly evaluate available science before taking action to manage the risk associated with the other uses of the chemical.”
More information on EPA’s actions concerning methylene chloride are available in the following memoranda:
- EPA Publishes Draft Risk Evaluation for Methylene Chloride (October 31, 2019);
- Communication and Recordkeeping Requirements Related to EPA Ban on Consumer Use Paint Removers Containing Methylene Chloride Go in Effect on August 26, 2019 (July 22, 2019); and
- EPA Bans Consumer Sales of Methylene Chloride Paint Removers, Seeks Comment on Program for Commercial Uses (March 20, 2019).