Wednesday, December 7, 2016

New EPA Chemical Review: Are These Chemicals in Your Home?

Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency named the first 10 chemicals it will evaluate under the new Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, the first update since 1976 of the nation’s primary toxic substances law. The safety reviews could lead to bans or restrictions on a number of hazardous chemicals in consumer products and workplaces, including asbestos, paint strippers, flame retardants and solvents. Half of the chemicals chosen for initial review contaminate drinking water, and setting health-based standards for them has been on the EPA’s to-do list for years.

On the list are chemicals you may recognize but be surprised to know can still be found in everyday products you purchase like Asbestos! Many Americans mistakenly think asbestos was banned decades ago. Though now uncommon, U.S. industry still imports, uses and sells asbestos and asbestos products, including automobile brake pads and clutches, vinyl tile and roofing materials. In 2015, tests found asbestos fibers in imported children’s toys! Another place Asbestos can lurk is in drywall textures on your ceilings and walls in older homes. Bumping or scraping these textures can release dangerous airborne Asbestos fibers and only dust free removal methods can be used to remove these textures safely from your home.

Also on the list for safety review but maybe not as recognizable are stripping chemicals like methylene chloride and  n-methylpyrrolidone (NMP). According to the CDC, from 2000 to 2013, at least 14 workers died while using methylene chloride during bathtub refinishing. In 2009 methylene chloride was detected in the drinking water of more than 20 million Americans, at concentrations that could pose a risk to human health. NMP is a solvent also used as a paint stripper, and in petrochemical processing, engineering plastics, agricultural chemicals and other applications. The EPA's 2015 risk assessment said it can cause reproductive and developmental harm, particularly during critical windows of development, from both short- and long-term exposures. The primary routes of exposure for both of these chemicals is through inhalation of the vapor and absorption of the chemicals through the skin.

The EPA should be commended for releasing the list ahead of schedule, but completion of the safety reviews and implementation of resulting regulations could take five years or more. Some public health and environmental groups are concerned that the new law will not provide the EPA with the resources it needs to quickly review and, if necessary, ban dangerous chemicals. One thing consumers can do is be more diligent in your research of products before you by! Look for safe alternatives for your removers, strippers, and other products. Be sure you always follow product directions they are there for your safety! For full article follow this link: New-EPA-Chemical-Review

One company helping to make safer choices for consumers and professionals available is EZ Strip. EZ Strip provides skin safe and fume free strippers designed to encapsulate the material your removing for dust free safe removal. Remove all kinds of paints, varnish, graffiti, and even painted drywall textures safely from surfaces with absolutely no dust or damage to surface. The EPA is working hard to make the choices you see for sale on the shelf safer but they are just getting started and there are literally thousands of chemicals in line for review. What can you do? Look for safer options and take your time when buying items your not sure about, EZ Strip can help! Visit the EZ Strip website at today for safe stripping alternatives because we care.