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Sherwin-Williams announced that it would eliminate methylene chloride paint strippers from its stores.
Our customers are our #1 priority at Sherwin-Williams, so we are eliminating methylene chloride paint strippers from our stores. We have several effective alternatives available to serve your project needs.— Sherwin-Williams (@SherwinWilliams) June 15, 2018
The announcement comes after a petition from environmental health advocates, who sent a letter to Sherwin Williams requesting that it ban the deadly chemical from all of its stores by Father’s Day weekend.
“Dozens of families across the country are observing Father’s Day this weekend without beloved sons, fathers, mothers, and daughters because these loved ones died using deadly paint strippers containing methylene chloride,” said Mike Schade, Mind the Store campaign director for Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families. “The best gift Sherwin-Williams can give to fathers this year is to leverage its position as a market leader to take these paint strippers off its store shelves across the globe. With great market power comes great responsibility.”
Dozens of people have died from exposure to methylene chloride, which can kill in minutes if inhaled, CBS reports. It's especially dangerous in enclosed spaces.
Many people use paint strippers on home projects, including furniture stripping, wood trim and bathroom refinishes.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed banning the chemical in 2017, but manufacturers oppose that idea, stating that it is safe when used correctly.
In Europe, it has been illegal to sell products containing methylene chloride since 2011.
Sherwin-Williams has over 4,000 stores nationwide.
Lowe’s also recently decided to ban methylene chloride from its stores by the end of the year.