WASHINGTON (August 20, 2018) – Walmart, the largest retailer in the world, announced it will no longer sell paint strippers made with methylene chloride or the toxic solvent NMP in its stores in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Central America or e-commerce sites as of February 2019. Walmart joins other major retail chains including Lowe’s, Sherwin Williams and Home Depot, all of which have announced in the last two months that they will stop selling paint strippers containing the deadly chemicals, some of which have killed unsuspecting consumers overcome by the toxic fumes.
Action on the retail front stands in stark contrast to the inaction and silence from the U.S. Environmental Agency, despite its May announcement that the agency would finalize a methylene chloride rule. It remains unclear whether or how the agency will proceed now that Andrew Wheeler has become EPA’s acting administrator. No details have been revealed about its planned regulatory action or its timeline for action, nor is there any indication the agency will act on NMP.
The following is a reaction from Sujatha Bergen, Policy Specialist with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC):
“Walmart’s action to save lives by no longer selling dangerous paint strippers is a significant step forward in protecting public health. We look forward to seeing the extension of this ban to all its operations across the globe.
“We now live in a nation where retailers like Walmart are acting more quickly to protect public health from these toxics than the EPA. Administrator Wheeler needs to protect consumers by banning deadly chemicals in paint strippers—unlike his disgraced predecessor who only gave the issue lip service.”
NRDC and the Safer Chemicals Healthy Families coalition challenge other retailers – Ace Hardware and True Value – to drop dangerous methylene chloride products from their stores in favor of safer alternatives.
- Protect Consumers from Methylene Chloride
- Needless Deaths: Toxic Solvents in Paint Strippers
- NRDC’s Letter to Walmart’s CEO Regarding Methylene Chloride
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.