EPA Should Ban Chemical Tied to at Least Three Deaths Since Pruitt Took Office

The Environmental Protection Agency today issued a statement indicating it would take action on the toxic chemical methylene chloride “shortly.” The EPA announcement came one day after EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt met with families of victims who had died from inhaling methylene chloride present in paint strippers. 

The following is a reaction by Erik Olson, Health Program Director with the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“Since Scott Pruitt took office and immediately shelved a proposed ban of the toxic killer, at least three people have died from methylene chloride exposure. One day after meeting with families of those who died, EPA announced today a vague plan to do something, though it’s unclear exactly what. Scott Pruitt should immediately act to save others’ lives by finalizing the agency’s proposed bans of methylene chloride and two other highly toxic solvents. 

“Compared to Pruitt’s aggressive acts to carry water for industry, whether by censoring science or decimating enforcement of environmental crimes, today’s ambiguous announcement suggests that perhaps not even a body count can get Scott Pruitt to use his authority to do the right thing for the environment or public health.”

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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. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.