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New California reg aimed at toxic chemical found in paint, varnish strippers

Regulation requires manufacturers to consider safer ingredients

Posted January 3, 2019

Starting January 1, 2019, a new California regulation requires manufacturers of paint and varnish strippers containing methylene chloride to find safer alternatives if they want to continue selling the products in California.

Under the new regulation, methylene chloride-based solvents will become a Priority Product under the Department of Toxic Substances Control’s (DTSC) Safer Consumer Products program, which challenges manufacturers to remove toxic chemicals from common consumer goods.

Manufacturers who sell these types of solvents in California must notify DTSC by March 4, 2019. These notifications start the process of either finding a safer alternative or reformulating to eliminate methylene chloride from these products.

According to DTSC, methylene chloride in paint strippers can cause breathing problems and even heart failure when used in confined spaces and without a ventilator and has been linked to increased risk of cancer.

DTSC says it passed the new regulation, in part, because EPA has not finalized a 2017 proposal to ban these types of solvents.

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