On August 28, 2014, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) released a final risk assessment for Dichloromethane (DCM), which is widely used in common household paint-stripping products. The risk assessment indicated DCM poses human health risks to workers and consumers who use products containing this chemical, as well as to bystanders. EPA estimates that more than 230,000 workers nationwide are directly exposed to DCM from these products.
EPA recommends that consumers check product labels and look for Dichloromethane or Methylene Chloride. If such products are used at all, EPA recommends using them outside or in extremely well-ventilated areas while wearing protective gear. EPA plans to schedule a workshop in late fall to engage stakeholders and the public concerning the risks.
Similarly, EPA recently released a draft risk assessment that identified risks for N-Methylpyrrolidone (NMP), another chemical in paint strippers. EPA also recommends that those using NMP-containing products take measures to minimize exposure.
Additional information on these risk assessments can be found here.