EWG Applauds Lowe’s for Protecting Public from Dangerous Paint Stripping Chemicals

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For Immediate Release: 
Wednesday, May 30, 2018

WASHINGTON – The national home improvement chain Lowe’s announced this week it will begin removing two highly toxic chemicals from its paint stripping products, with the phaseout to be completed by the end of this year.

Lowe’s decision, the first by any U.S. retailer, comes after more than 200,000 Americans signed petitions demanding the chain remove methylene chloride and N-methylpyrrolidone from its products.

Both chemicals are associated with a number of serious health risks, including brain and nervous system developmental problems in children, as well as cancer and even death. More than 60 people have died from exposure to methylene chloride since 1980.

The petition directed at Lowe’s was launched by Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families.

“Lowe’s decision should be applauded and rewarded by consumers,” said Scott Faber, senior vice president for government affairs at EWG. “It’s the first such retailer to take significant steps that will undoubtedly save lives and protect future generations of children from being needlessly exposed to these dangerous chemicals. We join our colleagues at Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families in urging Home Depot, Walmart and other retailers to follow suit and put the health of all consumers first.”

The Environmental Protection Agency was expected to ban these chemicals from use in paint strippers, but under the leadership of Administrator Scott Pruitt, it has failed to do so.

“The public cannot count on Mr. Pruitt to safeguard them from toxic chemicals in commercial products, which is why consumers and companies alike need to get involved and step up where Pruitt and President Trump have failed,” Faber added.