Sonora, CA — A go-to product for do-it-yourselfers that California officials say have caused at least five U.S. deaths since 2014 is being banned for consumer use.
The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday banned the popular but deadly Goopy brand paint stripper for consumer sales — but stopped short of also banning commercial use by tradespeople. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler signed the rule, which will bar manufacture and import of the stripper methylene chloride for consumer use, in a private meeting Friday with relatives of a man who died while using the product.
The EPA cited that acute fatalities resulting from exposure to the chemical bear an unreasonable risk to consumers. Retail stores have until later this year to remove the product from sale. Many big chains already stopped sale of products containing methylene chloride in recent months, amid a campaign led by environmental groups and families of men overcome and killed by the paint stripper’s fumes.
Goopy, strong-smelling products containing methylene chloride have been popular for decades. But fumes from these products can affect the central nervous system, sometimes causing dizziness, disorientation — and death.