Unsuspecting Consumers Purchase Life Threatening Chemicals

| June 4, 2018 | 0 Comments

One of the most important responsibilities as a journalist is to inform the public of very serious situations, especially when it can be detrimental to your health and wellbeing. That’s why I am sharing this very important information about chemicals that are currently in the paint departments of your local retailers: Lowes, The Home Depot, Walmart, Ace, Orchard Supply and other independent stores.

I have been working on this article for several weeks and was pursuing this through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In an effort to respond to serious allegations against products being sold in the paint departments of your local retailers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced upcoming actions on methylene chloride, a chemical that can be used for paint stripping. This occurred after the EPA was notified that numerous unsuspecting individuals (as many as 50) have died from using paint removers containing methylene chloride.

However, I am not alone in bringing this subject to the public. “CBS News This Morning” has been doing a series of stories that share the sad reality of unsuspecting people who recently died after using paint strippers containing methylene chloride. As difficult as it is to watch this news coverage, I would encourage you to do so. This can help you better understand the severity of the situation and how easy a life is cut short. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEhIhYFSecM.

There are several organizations that are also helping with this effort to remove these products from the paint department shelves. Safer Chemicals and Healthy Families, which led protests at various Lowe’s locations, lobbied for the paint strippers’ removal.

“When facing federal inaction on vital issues facing the American public — some of which are matters of life or death — retailers have a responsibility and an opportunity to do right by their customers,” said Mike Schade, Mind the Store campaign director for Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families.

Dr. Robert Harrison, Professor of Occupational Health at the University of California San Francisco, is an industry expert on the dangers of products containing methylene chloride. He states that there are safer alternatives that work as well and as fast, and mentions that Europe has barred products containing methylene chloride from the market place.
In response, Lowe’s is banning paint strippers with two harmful chemicals after activists waged a campaign against the home improvement retailer over its sale of the products. Paint removal products with methylene chloride and N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP) will be off Lowe’s shelves by the end of the year.

“We care deeply about the health and safety of our customers, and great progress is being made in the development of safer and more effective alternatives,” said Mike McDermott, Lowe’s chief customer officer, in a statement. “As a home improvement leader, we recognize the need for viable paint removal products and remain committed to working closely with suppliers to further innovate in this category.”

The group, which organized protests outside Lowe’s stores, said more than 200,000 consumers had signed petitions “demanding action.” The organization called for competitors, including Home Depot, Walmart and Menards, to follow suit.

Methylene chloride has been tied to cancer, reproductive issues and other conditions, according to Safer Chemicals. The Environmental Protection Agency in 2017 proposed a ban that has yet to become law.

NMP, or N-methylpyrrolidone, is cited as a cause of fetal development problems, including miscarriages, Safer Chemicals said.

As much as I regret having to be the bearer of bad news, I also know that I would be irresponsible to not bring this to your attention and allow you to become knowledgeable on this life saving issue. Methylene chloride is dangerous and should be removed immediately from store shelves. It is the right thing to do. Let’s encourage all of the retailers to follow Lowe’s and ban it from their shelves.

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Category: Business, Featured Articles, Health & Fitness, Local News, National News

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