Industry celebrates wins in EPA’s methylene chloride rule

By Ellie Borst | 05/01/2024 04:13 PM EDT

The partial ban included a few significant changes from last year’s proposal, including some advocated by industry groups.

A can of paint stripper sits next to a jar of stripped paint and gummed up sandpaper

EPA set a partial ban on methylene chloride, a deadly chemical known for its widespread use as a paint stripper. Rachel Baranow/Flickr

Industry groups offered praise for aspects of EPA’s partial ban on a deadly and widely used chemical, though they stopped short of voicing full support for the rule.

EPA on Tuesday released its final risk management rule for methylene chloride, which bans 50 percent of all uses of the chemical that fall under the scope of the Toxic Substances Control Act. That final rule included a few significant changes from last year’s proposal, including extended phaseout timelines and walking back bans on three proposed uses, among them for plastics and rubber manufacturing.

Industry trade associations such as the American Chemistry Council and the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates highly scrutinized EPA’s proposal to ban the chemical for use in plastics, arguing it would essentially end all manufacturing of polycarbonate, a thick type of plastic commonly used in building materials.


“While the proposed rule set out to ban almost all uses of methylene chloride, SOCMA was successful in winning allowances for several conditions of use that are critical for SOCMA members,” the organization said in a statement.