Researchers tout safer alternative to potentially deadly paint stripper chemical

January 2, 2018 via CBS News

An alternative to a potentially deadly chemical found in common paint strippers is facing hurdles to reach consumers. CBS News' Anna Werner reported last month on the deaths of dozens of people who used methylene chloride. The EPA indefinitely postponed a ban on that chemical last month, proposed by the Obama administration.

Now, researchers say if the industry won't come up with a safer product, they will. Activists like Mike Schade, who runs the Mind the Store consumer campaign, is pushing for retailers to take the existing methylene chloride-based products out of their stores to protect consumers.

Schade is petitioning retailers to take paint strippers containing the toxic chemical off the shelves.

"The science is clear, these chemicals are dangerous," Schade told Werner. "They're literally deadly for workers and consumers."

Workers like Wendy Hartley's 21-year-old son Kevin who was found unconscious by his older brother. He, like dozens of others, died in an entirely preventable accident: overcome by methylene chloride fumes in the paint stripper he was using while on the job refinishing a bathtub in April last year.