The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has prohibited methylene chloride in paint and coating removal products. This prohibition will become effective after November 22, 2019.

SAFEGUARDS | HardgoodsNO. 046/19

Exterior House Paint

On March 27, 2019, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a final rule in the Federal Register (84 FR 11420) to prohibit the manufacture (including import), processing, and distribution of methylene chloride, also known as dichloromethane, in paint and coating removal products. This new law also applies to e-commerce internet sales or distribution.

This final rule stems from the EPA’s determination that the use of methylene chloride in paint and coating removal products presents an unreasonable risk to consumers. Acute exposures to methylene chloride from these products may cause dizziness, loss of consciousness, coma and death as a result of nervous system depression.

According to the final rule, the EPA requires manufacturers (including importers), processors, and distributors, except for retailers, of methylene chloride of any use after August 26, 2019, to notify downstream users of these prohibitions, and keep documentation. These notifications must be in writing using specific language in Sections 1(c) and 15 of the Safety Data Sheet (SDS). Documents must be kept for three years from the date of shipment.

Highlights of the final rule are summarized in Table 1.

Federal Register, Vol. 84, 11420, March 27, 2019, Environmental Protection Agency
40 CFR Part 751 ‘Regulation of Certain Chemical Substances and Mixtures under Section 6 of the Toxic Substances Control Act’ 
Substance (CAS)  Scope  Requirement  Effective Date 
Methylene chloride
(Consumer) paint and coating removal products  Prohibited November 22, 2019* 
*Prohibited for persons from manufacturing, processing and distributing in commerce methylene chloride for consumer paint and coating removal
*Prohibited for all persons from distributing in commerce methylene chloride, including any methylene chloride containing products, for paint and coating removal to retailers.
*Prohibited for retailers from distributing in commerce any methylene chloride containing products, for paint and coating removal

Table 1

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