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Walmart Joins Ranks of Retailers Pulling Toxic Paint Strippers From Shelves – When Will EPA Follow Suit?
By Sarah Vogel
Monday, Walmart announced that it will stop selling paint strippers containing methylene chloride or N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP) in stores by February 2019—making it the first general merchandise retailer to take such action. Walmart's announcement follows the strong leadership demonstrated by Lowes, Home Depot and Sherwin Williams, all of which have committed not to sell methylene chloride- and NMP-based paint stripping products by the end of the year. Importantly, Walmart's action goes beyond its U.S. stores, including those in Mexico, Canada and Central America, as well as their online store.
The announcement signals an important step by Walmart to better protect consumers from dangerous paint strippers. Methylene chloride is highly neurotoxic and acutely lethal. The chemical is responsible for more than 50 reported deaths from acute exposure over the last 35 years—though many more likely have gone unreported. NMP is linked to fetal development problems, including low birth weight and birth defects.
The Environmental Defense Fund has advocated for several years for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban both methylene chloride- and NMP-based paint strippers, using its enhanced authority under the reformed Toxic Substance Control Act. In January 2017, EPA proposed to ban methylene chloride and restrict NMP in paint strippers, but action has stalled under the Trump administration. For over a year, the agency made no effort to finalize these actions—even taking steps to delay any progress.
This past May, families whose sons died from using paint strippers containing methylene chloride met with former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to personally ask him to finalize the ban on these products. Just two days after the meeting, EPA announced its intention to finalize the proposed ban on methylene chloride-based paint strippers.
Three months later, EPA has yet to make good on its promise. But retailers across the nation are stepping up. We applaud the leadership demonstrated by these retailers and strongly urge EPA to follow suit and ban methylene chloride- and NMP-based paint strippers. It is the only health-protective path forward.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Zak Smith
It is pretty amazing that in this moment when the COVID-19 outbreak has much of the country holed up in their homes binging Netflix, the most watched show in America over the last few weeks has been focused on wildlife trade — which scientists believe is the source of the COVID-19 pandemic. Make no mistake: Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is about wildlife trade and other aspects of wildlife exploitation, just as surely as the appearance of Ebola, SARS, MERS, avian flu and probably COVID-19 in humans is a result of wildlife exploitation. As a conservationist, this is one of the things I've been thinking about while watching Tiger King. Here are five more:
By Hector Chapa
With the coronavirus pandemic quickly spreading, U.S. health officials have changed their advice on face masks and now recommend people wear cloth masks in public areas where social distancing can be difficult, such as grocery stores.
But can these masks be effective?
By Carey Gillam
Bayer AG is reneging on negotiated settlements with several U.S. law firms representing thousands of plaintiffs who claim exposure to Monsanto's Roundup herbicides caused them to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma, sources involved in the litigation said on Friday.
With many schools now closed due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, you may be looking for activities to keep your children active, engaged, and entertained.
Although numerous activities can keep kids busy, cooking is one of the best choices, as it's both fun and educational.
Germany's target for renewable energy sources to deliver 65% of its consumed electricity by 2030 seemed on track Wednesday, with 52% of electricity coming from renewables in 2020's first quarter. Renewable energy advocates, however, warned the trend is imperiled by slowdowns in building new wind and solar plants.