On The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulation to prohibit manufacturing importing, processing, and distributing methylene chloride in all paint removers for consumer use went into effect on November 22, 2019. At that time, it became unlawful for any person or retailer to sell or distribute paint removal products containing methylene chloride for consumer use, including e-commerce sales. Methylene Chloride (CAS #75-09-2) has been a component in paint removers and paint strippers for several decades.
Methylene Chloride is a chemical regulated both by the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The EPA recognizes that there will be some necessity for down stream disposal of products not already distributed to consumers. If these products cannot be returned to the manufacturer, they must be disposed of in a manner consistent with Federal RCRA laws and any more stringent state and local rules.
This regulation is limited to those entities that may manufacture and/or import formulations with Methylene Chloride for use by the consumer. For a complete definition that details end-users, review 40 CFR 751.105. Commercial and industrial applications do not fall within the scope of this regulation. For the best guidance on this new law, click on the provided link to the EPA website 1:
Below is a table showing details of the rule:
The principle documentation requirements for this rule are upstream from the consumer. therefore rest with the manufacturer. Manufacturers must provide downstream notification to the retailers of these products, including documentation that indicates to whom these formulations were shipped. Manufacturers must also provide any additional import and/or export documentation as required by TSCA regulations.
The EPA believes there are now a sufficient number of alternative formulations available for use as consumer paint removers. These newer formulations are much lower in toxicity and have very little chance of bio-accumulation in the environment since many of these are plant based. The agency promotes the EPA Safer Choice Program to note the safer consumer chemical options. 2
1 United Stated Environmental Protection Agency; “Small Entity Compliance Guidance For the Regulation of Methylene Chloride – Paint and Coating Remover for Consumer use”; https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2019- compliance_guidance_for_the_regulation_of_methylene_chloride_11.21.2019.pdf ; P1-11.
2 United State Environmental Protection Agency; “Consumer Information on Greener Products and Services”; https://www.epa.gov/greenerproducts/consumer-information-greener-products-and-services ; P.1.