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European Commission proposes partial ban of paint strippers
Article Type: Industrial news From: Anti-Corrosion Methods and Materials, Volume 55, Issue 4
The European Commission (EC) has proposed restricting the sale and use of paint strippers containing dichloromethane (methylene chloride) because of its toxicity, according to an EC statement issued February 14, 2008, from Brussels. Such paint removers are used in industry and are also sold in “do-it-yourself” stores accessible to everybody.
Dichloromethane vapor is toxic to the central nervous system. The EC’s proposal follows concerns of some experts that, from 1989 to 2007, a significant number of accidents and fatalities in the EU have been linked to use of the substance. The commission therefore proposes to ban the sale of such paint strippers to the general public and professional users. However, taking into account other expert opinions that professionals may safely use the substance if they take adequate precautions, member states may permit the purchase and use of such products by licensed professionals who have received appropriate training. For industrial activities, the paint strippers’ use will be permitted under strictly controlled conditions. The formal adoption by the European Parliament and the Council is expected by the end of the year.
Risks from dichloromethane in paint strippers have been assessed in several studies conducted by the commission. They concluded that measures to reduce the risk connected to the use of dichloromethane are necessary throughout the EU.
Several EU member states have already put in place national measures to control the risks of dichloromethane in paint strippers, and Germany has recently notified the commission of restriction measures.
For further details, please visit: http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/chemicals/ legislation/markrestr/index_en.htm