What's At Stake

Reports have linked methylene chloride to nearly 60 deaths.

In a matter of minutes, this lethal chemical—found in paint strippers—could turn home projects into a tragedy. Its noxious fumes can cause liver toxicity, cancer, and even trigger fatal heart attacks. It’s harmful to the nervous system and easily transfers into breast milk.

Despite these risks, anyone can walk into home stores and purchase methylene chloride–based products. No one should have to worry about unknowingly exposing themselves to a known poison and suspected carcinogen—especially when safer alternatives already exist.

After NRDC and allies, together with hundreds of thousands of concerned consumers, called on CEOs to put consumer safety first and remove this dangerous ingredient from store shelves, Lowe's, Sherwin-Williams, and Home Depot listened. We will continue to work to get more retailers to pull methylene chloride from their stores, as well as push the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to do its job and permanently ban this toxic chemical.

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Drew Wynne was found dead after the 31-year-old attempted to resurface the floor of a walk-in refrigerator with a paint stripper containing methylene chloride that he bought at Lowe’s. Wynne was wearing a respirator and gloves.

— Shelley Poticha, Managing Director, Healthy People & Thriving Communities Program

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