Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Methylene chloride in paint strippers: A ban is the only health-protective path forward

Under the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is required to perform risk evaluations on the uses of ten specific chemicals, including methylene chloride. 

According to the EPA, it is nearing completion of problem formulations for these first ten chemicals. EPA's announcement states that it will send a final methylene chloride rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) "shortly." EPA also notes that is not reevaluating the paint stripping uses of methylene chloride, and instead is relying on its previous risk assessment done in 2014. The EPA identified the risks posed by methylene chloride when it is used in paint removers in a final risk assessment available for review here TSCA-work-plan-chemical-risk-assessment 


On May 10, 2018, the EPA announced several upcoming actions on methylene chloride and has signaled it will advance a delayed rule regulating consumer and worker use of methylene chloride-based paint strippers. The record for EPA’s proposed ban is clear:  Allowing such products to stay on the market based on reliance on such factors as increased labeling, protective equipment, or training requirements simply will not protect the public’s or workers’ health. 

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) guidance recommending additional labeling falls far short of what is needed for several additional reasons:

First, the guidance is not legally binding.

Second, CPSC only has authority over consumers, not workers; yet the latter is the sub-population most often reported to be harmed through use of methylene chloride-containing paint and coating removal products. In a June 2016 letter to EPA, CPSC supported EPA's efforts to use TSCA to promulgate a ban: "Because TSCA gives EPA the ability to reach both occupational and consumer uses, we recognize that EPA may address risks associated with these chemicals in a more cohesive and coordinated manner given that CPSC lacks authority to address occupational hazards.

Third, labeling is of extremely limited efficacy in controlling exposure.  CPSC’s guidance recognizes the limits of labeling: “Warnings research demonstrates that even small inconveniences to the consumer can have a substantial negative effect on behavioral compliance with a warning.” EPA’s proposed ban clearly indicated and extensively documented that labeling would be insufficient to mitigate the risks posed by these uses of methylene chloride to consumers and workers.



The Environmental Defense Fund is encouraged by EPA’s statement last week that it has decided move forward to finalize its proposed rule banning methylene chloride in paint stripping products.  We urge EPA to promptly finalize its ban – which is the only way to adequately protect public and worker health.


Find safe paint stripping alternatives that don't put you or your family at risk. Follow this link for the number one safest DIY friendly paint removal option here EZstrip.ca


Thursday, April 26, 2018

Safe & Easy Furniture Refinishing At Your Fingertips!


Traditional Furniture Refinishing Hazards

Furniture refinishing has always been a hazardous and difficult project because of the need to first remove the existing coating. Paint and varnish strippers are commonly toxic and hazardous to the environment. Traditional paint strippers contain chemicals like methylene chloride a carcinogen that can cause severe skin burns, effect your nervous system even cause death. Other common chemicals are NMP, Acetone, Toluene, Caustic Soda all of which have a laundry list of hazardous effects that can be breathed in and absorbed through the skin. No matter your removal method strippers, heat guns, and even sanding can release toxins into the air and they all require a different type of safety certified breathing mask to prevent exposure do you know what you need to keep safe?

The Safer Option

Now you can take the guessing and hazards of stripping paint and varnish right out of the equation. EZ Strip Paint & Varnish Stripper is the only way to truly be safe when stripping furniture. EZ Strip's formula is a skin safe low VOC stripper that cleans up with just water. The solution is 100% water soluble and biodegradable for an environmentally friendly removal option for furniture coatings. No gloves, masks, or forced ventilation required. Unlike traditional stripping chemicals that require a second chemical to neutralize the first EZ Strip cleans up with just tap water. Everything you remove with EZ Strip doesn't require specialized disposal either just discard removed coatings in your regular household garbage. Caution if you suspect the coating you want to remove could contain lead paint call a certified professional. They have a training to remove lead paint safely and dispose of properly.   

How It Works

The technology behind this new innovative product allows the stripper to penetrate paint and varnish coatings and release the bond between coating and surface. This process happens without a chemical reaction with the coating being removed which can cause VOCs in that coating to be released into the air. EZ Strip will not over saturate the substrate causing wood grains to raise or splinter. This makes EZ Strip ideal for refinishing antique wood furniture. EZ Strip is safe to use on most surfaces including all types of wood, metal, stone, tile, bricks, concrete, glass, and fiber glass. Use caution with plastics as EZ Strip may etch some plastics. Visit the how to remove page on the EZ Strip website today for detailed removal info and directions at http://www.ezstrip.ca/how-to-remove/

Where To Buy

EZ Strip Paint & Varnish Stripper is now available in a variety of locations! Visit the where to buy page on the EZ Strip website and find a local store that carries this great safe alternative to furniture refinishing near you today! Visit http://www.ezstrip.ca/buy-ez-strip/

See It In Action

Watch EZ Strip Paint & Varnish Stripper transform old and tired furniture into treasures! Subscribe to the EZ Strip You Tube Channel for great project ideas here https://www.youtube.com/TheEZstrip

Chest Refinishing


Mirror Refinishing

Table Refinishing

Stair Refinishing

Now there is a safe alternative for furniture refinishing so you can take on that refinishing project without the hazards and high environmental impact worries traditional strippers pose! 

EZ Strip Because Life Has Never Been This EZ!


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Paint Stripper Chemical Bans Delayed Even After Recent Tragic Deaths From Product


A proposed federal ban on a potentially deadly chemical found in common paint strippers may be on hold indefinitely. The EPA says methylene chloride a chemical banned in Europe since 2012 poses an unreasonable risk and has been implicated in dozens of deaths. According to the Environment Defense Fund, more than 50 deaths have been attributed to exposure of methylene chloride. Three deaths were reported in 2017. The agency proposed a ban in January 2017, but postponed it late last year.


Who Is Affected?


Methylene chloride is a commonly used paint stripper found in hardware stores and it's possibly in your garage right now. After a young man from Charleston, South Carolina died last October resurfacing the floor of a walk-in refrigerator his family says no label could ever let people know how dangerous it is. 31 year old Drew Wynne was using a paint stripper, Goof Off, manufactured by company W.M. Barr. when he was overcome by the fumes of the product. The coroner's report concluded he was incapacitated by toxic fumes and the cause of death was acute methylene chloride toxicity.

The family is asking for this chemical to be banned immediately "The pain runs deep. Not only for me but for my husband and my other two sons," Cindy Wynne said. It's deadly but found in stripping products on store shelves across the country, something Drew's brother Brian quickly learned. "I was shocked. I mean, how is it that you can find something that will kill you instantly and buy it, just off the shelf?" Brian said. Watch an interview with the family after the incident here  https://www.cbsnews.com/news/dangerous-paint-stripper-chemical-methylene-chloride-ban-on-hold/


What's Being Done?


The Ann Arbor Ecology Center has renewed efforts to raise awareness of the dangers of methylene chloride. They are asking home improvement retailers to stop selling products that contain this chemical by circulating a petition and reaching out directly to retailers. Cans of methylene chloride paint strippers bear a prominent warning label including phrases like "Inhalation of vapors may cause death." The cans also contain extensive safe use instructions. However, the instructions are often widely ignored, and are themselves inadequate. "You are not able to safely use these products because the precautions required to be taken, and the personal protective equipment that would be required, is just not commonly available. It would require training to remotely be able to safely use the products," says Jeff Gearhart, Research Director for the Ann Arbor Ecology Center.



Recent deaths have also occurred in Tennessee and California. Kevin Hartley, a 21-year-old from Nashville, died while refinishing a bathtub in April 2017. He was using a commercial product called White Lightning Low Odor Stripper. In June, a worker stripping a bathtub with Jasco Premium Paint & Epoxy Remover in Huntington Park, CA, died from methylene chloride poisoning.


What Can You Do?


One thing consumers can do is only purchase safer alternatives when looking for paint strippers. Show retailers there is a high demand for non-toxic paint removers and toxic paint strippers are no longer wanted on consumers shelves! Be diligent when researching your preferred paint removal product. Your health is worth the time to look up the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for the product you want to use. SDS info can help you make sure the product you want to use is the right removal method for your project and you have the right safety equipment to use it safely.

For more information on safe paint removers and strippers visit http://www.ezstrip.ca/ 



Tuesday, March 6, 2018

What Resources Can Help Retailers Ensure Safer Chemicals?


We recognize that considerable effort may be needed to remove a chemical of high concern from the supply chain while still providing the public with products that are effective and affordable. Slow progress on a federal level towards an American environment less toxic to human health seems to be the current pace. But a new survey of state-level lawmaking around the country has shown an increase.

More than 120 measures aimed at reducing hazardous chemical exposure in everyday life are moving in American legislatures this year, according to the latest annual count by the Safer States coalition.  The tally has grown by a dozen in the last couple of weeks and may increase further.

Focused on harmful chemicals


Safer States is a network of organizations focused on safeguarding human health — and, therefore, overall environmental health — by reducing reliance on harmful chemicals. In all, the group counts 173 significant measures adopted by 35 states since 2000.

Unfortunately, too many suppliers faced with the challenge of reducing harmful chemicals on their shelves simply offer only slightly altered chemistries. These often prove to be “regrettable substitutes,” which are chemicals that are arguably somewhat safer than the targeted chemical of high concern, but which display hazard characteristics and exposure potential similar to the chemistries they replace. Often growing concerns are revealed gradually as health and safety data gaps on the “regrettable substitutes” are slowly filled through more research. N‐Methyl pyrrolidone or (NMP) is a great example of a chemical that was thought to be a great alternative chemical for paint stripping (found in products like Citristrip and Ready Strip) only to be discovered later as a reproductive organ toxin.

For retailers to step off this costly treadmill of constantly chasing and replacing alternative chemistries requires careful assessment and substitution planning. Although a commitment to continuous improvement must allow for imperfect transition chemistries, much greater attention should be paid to getting it as right as possible in the first instance.

We encourage retailers to seek additional expert assistance and advice, follow this link for a list of experts that can help  http://saferchemicals.org/for-retailers/


High Levels Of Concern 


The Occupational Health Branch investigated two incidents in California in which workers died after using paint strippers containing methylene chloride. Methylene chloride has been linked by Federal OSHA to over 50 worker deaths nationwide since the mid-1980s. Methylene chloride (dichloromethane) is a widely used solvent that can cause serious illness or death when used in enclosed spaces. It is a cancer-causing chemical used in paint strippers, in the production of polymer foams, and as a degreaser. Because of the serious harm that can occur from inhaling methylene chloride vapors, employers, workers, and consumers should always consider safer alternatives to strip paint from surfaces.

One proven safe alternative to toxic paint stripping chemicals is stripping and removal products from EZ Strip. EZ Strip's active removal ingredients
(Dibasic esters) sit at the top of the California Department of Public Health of recommended alternatives.



To learn more about EZ Strip and how you can become a retailer of these products visit http://www.ezstrip.ca/





Friday, February 23, 2018

What You Should Know About Using Paint Strippers


IF NOT PROPERLY USED, PAINT STRIPPERS ARE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH, SAFETY AND THE ENVIRONMENT. 


Paint strippers contain chemicals that loosen paint from surfaces. These chemicals can harm you or cause cancer or even death if they are not used properly. Since many are absorbed readily through the skin or are inhaled easily, some paint stripping chemicals can irritate the skin and eyes or cause headaches, drowsiness, nausea, dizziness, or loss of coordination. Some chemicals may cause developmental or reproductive problems, or damage the liver, kidney, or brain. Others catch fire easily.

More consumers are choosing to complete do-it-yourself (DIY) projects in their homes. Using paint strippers in confined spaces, can potentially expose you to dangerous chemicals through inhalation and dermal absorption. Proper knowledge/handling of paint strippers will reduce your exposure to these chemicals lessening your health risks and environmental impact.

TYPES OF PAINT STRIPPERS

1. SOLVENT-BASED STRIPPERS

Most paint strippers are solvent-based. Solvents dissolve the bond between the substrate and paint. Solvents also can dissolve other materials, including the latex or rubber of common household or dish washing gloves. Some solvents will irritate or burn the skin, while some cause serious health effects even if contact does not immediately cause pain. In addition, many solvents evaporate quickly, and they can be easily inhaled. Inhalation of these solvents can produce health effects immediately or years after exposure.

It is especially important to use paint strippers that contain solvents either outdoors or in an indoor area with strong fresh air movement (e.g., with a fan). Some paint strippers contain  solvents that do not evaporate quickly. When using these strippers indoors, be sure to open windows and doors to provide fresh air movement in and out of the work site. You should always follow the manufacturer's instructions and safety precautions. Use the amount of stripper recommended by the manufacturer to avoid buildup of harmful fumes. The different types of solvent-based paint strippers and their potential hazards and safety precautions include:

A. Methylene chloride (also called dichloromethane, or DCM) Methylene chloride is the most commonly used chemical in paint strippers. Methylene chloride products come in two varieties: nonflammable and flammable. The flammable paint strippers have less methylene chloride then the nonflammable paint strippers, but they have other flammable chemicals, including acetone, toluene, or methanol.

Methylene chloride causes cancer in laboratory animals. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) consider methylene chloride to be a potential cause of cancer in humans. Methylene chloride evaporates quickly, and you can inhale it easily. Breathing high levels of methylene chloride over short periods of time can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, and lungs. It can also cause dizziness, headache, lack of coordination, and death in cases of high exposure and poor or no ventilation. High exposures to methylene chloride for long periods can also cause liver and kidney damage. The human body can change some inhaled methylene chloride to carbon monoxide (CO). CO lowers the blood's ability to carry oxygen. This may cause problems for people with heart, lung, or blood disease who use methylene chloride paint strippers indoors without fresh air and cross ventilation.

DIY use of methylene chloride-based paint strippers has increased resulting in an increase in deaths. If work must be done indoors under low ventilation conditions, consider having the work done professionally instead of attempting it yourself or consider a safer removal method. 

B. Acetone, toluene, and methanol 
Acetone, toluene, and methanol are chemicals that are commonly used together in paint strippers, and they evaporate quickly and are very flammable. Breathing high levels of these chemicals can cause a variety of effects, including drowsiness, dizziness, and headache. Breathing high levels of toluene may harm unborn children, and breathing very high levels for a long period may cause brain damage. Toluene and methanol are poisonous if swallowed.

To avoid fire and health problems, avoid using products that contain these chemicals. Non-flammable safer removal options are available.

C. N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP)
Excessive contact with NMP may cause skin swelling, blistering, and burns. These skin reactions may not appear until sometime after exposure. NMP is readily absorbed through the skin and may cause health problems. Adverse health effects in the developing fetus have been noted in laboratory animals exposed to some of the chemicals in paint strippers. Therefore, women of child-bearing age who work with or use paint strippers on a regular basis, such as at work, should take special precautionary measures to decrease their risk from dermal/or and inhalation exposure.

Some paint strippers have a citrus smell or make "environmentally friendly" claims. However, these paint strippers may also be hazardous, despite these claims, and they may contain NMP.

2. CAUSTIC-BASED STRIPPERS (NOT FLAMMABLE)

A. Caustic alkalis
Caustic reacts with the paint coating and loosen it from the surface. One of the chemicals in this type of stripper is sodium hydroxide (lye). Some people do not use caustic alkalis because caustic products can darken wood and raise the grain.

Caustic alkalis can cause severe burns to skin and eyes even with short contact. Caustic alkalis are also highly toxic if swallowed.


3. SAFE ALTERNATIVE STRIPPERS

A. Dimethyl Esters (also known as Dibasic Esters, DBE, and DMEs*)
DBEs are readily biodegradable, low odor, low VOC strippers and are excellent solvent substitutes in many parts cleaning and stripping applications. Commercial acceptance and use of dimethyl esters and dibasic esters continues to increase due to their positive economic, environmental and performance characteristics.

Dimethyl esters and dibasic esters can be used replace more conventional and increasingly regulated removal materials and industrial solvents, including, but not limited to:

  • N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP)
  • MEK
  • methylene chloride
  • isophorone
  • certain glycol ethers and their acetates
  • acetone
  • toluene
  • methanol
  • cresylic acid
  • caustic alkalis

With a preferable environmental, health and safety profile DBEs are considered a “greener” or environmentally preferable and safer product due to several safety and regulatory attributes, including:

Environmental

  • Low VOC 
  • Readily Biodegradable
  • Not included CERCLA/SARA hazardous substances list
  • Not considered a hazardous waste under RCRA 
  • Not included on the CWA list of hazardous substances
  • Used in EPA Safer Choice formulations

Health

  • Not considered a carcinogen or reproductive toxin
  • Low levels of toxicity
  • Low Odor
  • Main components not subject to Proposition 65
  • Included on EPA list of safer chemicals for use in Safer Choice formulations

Safety

  • Non Flammable
  • Non Corrosive
  • Non Hazardous DOT
  • High Flash Point
  • High Boiling Point
  • Slowly Evaporation Rate

GENERAL SAFETY PRECAUTIONS

Paint strippers contain different chemicals, and the potential hazards are different for various products. Its important to remember each product has specific safety precautions. However, there are some general safety steps to keep in mind when using any paint stripper. If you use paint strippers frequently, it is particularly important that you follow these steps:

1. Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety precautions on the label. Do not assume you already know how to use the product. The hazards may be different from one product to another, and the ingredients in individual products often change over time. The label tells you what actions you should take to reduce hazards and the first aid measures to use.

2. Wear chemical-resistant gloves appropriate to the type of stripper being used. Examples include gloves made with butyl rubber or neoprene. See the manufacturer's instructions or a material safety data sheet (MSDS) on your product to determine the appropriate glove type. Also, ask your local store what type of gloves to choose for your product. Common kitchen latex gloves do not provide enough protection. Replace gloves often to decrease dermal exposure risk.

3. Avoid getting the paint stripper on your skin or in your eyes. Wear protective clothing and goggles appropriate for the project and type of stripper.

4. Only use paint strippers outdoors never indoors unless stripper states it safe to do so. If you must use them indoors, cross-ventilate by opening all doors and windows. Never use any paint stripper in a poorly ventilated area. Make sure there is fresh air movement throughout the room. Ventilate the area before, during, and after applying it and when stripping by using a fan that is blowing air away from you and to the outside. A fan is particularly important for nonflammable products that evaporate quickly, such as methylene chloride. However, electrical sparks from fans may increase the chance of flammable paint stripper fumes catching fire. If work must be done indoors under low ventilation conditions, consider having the work done professionally instead of attempting it yourself.

5. Do not use flammable paint strippers near any source of sparks, flame, or high heat. Do not work near gas stoves, kerosene heaters, gas or electric water heaters, gas or electric clothes dryers, gas or electric furnaces, gas or electric space heaters, sanders, buffers, or other electric hand tools. Open flames, cigarettes, matches, lighters, pilot lights, or electric sparks can cause the chemicals in paint strippers to suddenly catch fire.

7. Only strip paint with chemicals that are marketed as paint strippers. Never use gasoline, lighter fluid, or kerosene to strip paint.

8. Dispose of paint strippers according to the instructions on the label. If you have any questions, ask your local environmental sanitation department about proper disposal. 

When it comes to paint stripping knowledge is power always know exactly what your working with from the removal product to the material you are stripping. Using some basic safety precautions that start at the time of purchasing the stripper and finish with the proper disposal of removed materials will ensure your safety and low environmental impact.

Learn more about safer stripping choices from EZ Strip here http://www.ezstrip.ca/


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

DIY Painted Popcorn Ceiling Removal


Popcorn Ceiling Texture the bumpy lumpy DIY Savvy Home Owners dread! This stuff dates your home and is impossible to clean. If it has never been painted GREAT carefully spritz with water and scrape off softened material for that modern smooth look. But if it has been painted and that is often the case no amount of water will soften that texture. Dry scraping is tough and messy. You can skim coat over the texture with a lot of drywall mud and a well trained trowel hand. But when you go to sand that skim coat for a smooth finish it's dust city! So finding a dust free DIY friendly removal option for painted drywall textures can be very difficult. EZ Strip has developed a low VOC wet working remover that penetrates through paint and encapsulates the softened texture for a dust free DIY friendly removal option!

Here are the steps:  


    Protect your walls and floors with plastic


Apply a thick even coating of EZ Strip Popcorn Ceiling Remover


Cover treated area with plastic to keep product wet and working set times vary 4 - 12 hours


Scrape softened material with a mud spatula or scraper blade. 

Tips and Tricks

  • Shake your bottle of easy strip before pouring into a container for application. 
  • Use a wide brush for a quick application.
  • Smooth out any air bubbles in plastic for a better set.
  • Test before you scrape let the product do the work for you don't scrape till its ready. 
  • Spritz with water during removal to keep product moist while scraping.
  • Scrape carefully so don't damage the drywall paper lining.
  • Scrape along the tape seems (the joints between drywall boards) and be careful not to remove them.
  • Wipe surface clean with a damp clean cloth and let surface completely dry before patching and painting.



EZ Strip Popcorn Ceiling Remover works on all kinds of drywall textures!



                                                              

Watch The How To Remove Video!




Where To Buy


Visit the EZ Strip Website today for more removal details, project ideas and purchase info @ EZstrip.ca




  




Thursday, January 4, 2018

Chemical Watch List: The Fight For Safer Consumer Products Is On!



The Environmental Protection Agency will indefinitely postpone bans on certain uses of three toxic chemicals found in consumer products, according to an update of the Trump administration’s regulatory plans. E.P.A. Administrator Scott Pruitt is “blatantly ignoring Congress’s clear directive to the agency to better protect the health and safety of millions of Americans by more effectively regulating some of the most dangerous chemicals known to man,” said Senator Tom Carper, Democrat of Delaware and the ranking minority member on the Senate Environment and Public Works committee. The proposed bans targeted methylene chloride and N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP), ingredients in paint strippers, and trichloroethylene (TCE), used as a spot cleaner in dry-cleaning and as a degreasing agent.

Public health experts had been pushing for faster review of methylene chloride-based paint strippers after several deaths from inhalation, among them Kevin Hartley a young man who died at the age of 21 while working with a product that contains methylene chloride. Kevin’s story, powerfully relayed by his mother Wendy, illustrates the need to ban high-risk uses of this chemical. Follow this link to hear her account of the incident Wendy Hartley's Story

The state of California has taken matters into their owns hands when it comes to the use and regulation of methylene chloride in consumer products. The California's Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has proposed regulations to name paint strippers containing methylene chloride a "priority product". The move comes under the state's Safer Consumer Products (SCP) programme and is the next step in a process that could lead to the products being restricted or banned in California. The agency said it will accept written comments until 18 January, and will hold a public hearing on 8 January (Just days away). Once the regulation is finalized, manufacturers of such products sold in the state will have 60 days to register with the department and begin an analysis to determine if a safer alternative is possible.


The only safe alternatives we trust is strippers and removers from EZ Strip! They use water technology that changes the way paint strippers work so they don't release harmful toxic fumes into the air, or have toxic chemicals that can be absorbed by the skin. Safe consumer removal products is the only way companies should be doing business. The health and safety of people should always be first for more info on safe removal options visit EZstrip.ca