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EPA Ban on Methylene Chloride Looms in 2024

Companies in the Surface & Panel industry looks at alternatives to chemical under fire from the EPA.

Photo by Vedrana Filipović / Unsplash

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been working towards a ban on methylene chloride, a chemical commonly found in contact cement, adhesives and sealants—commonly found in the surface & panel industry.

Chemical Concepts shared an email this week to customers, making them aware of the ban, which “will begin to take effect in June,” and urging them to be proactive.

“[The ban] will be phased in over time and some adhesive manufacturers are already taking proactive measures by adjusting their formulations and/or discontinuing products that many companies rely on for their continued operation,” reads the email. “Some products will be discontinued as soon as next month.”

Anyone concerned about whether any adhesives they use contain methylene chloride, can contact Chemical Concepts for verification and the company will then provide alternative recommendations if necessary.

“In the meantime,” reads the notice, “consider ordering what you need now (while you can still get it) before you're caught without product. Since it can take some time to find a suitable alternative, we are recommending our customers consider placing an order for a 6-month - 1-year supply in order to avoid possible shutdowns and have plenty of buffer to work out any unforeseen issues with replacement products.”

Chemical Concepts says it will continue to monitor the progress of the EPA ban on methylene chloride and its impacts and provide updates as they become available.

The EPA first took on methylene chloride in 2019, when the agency passed regulations to prohibit the manufacture (including import), processing, and distribution of methylene chloride in all paint removers for consumer use.

“It is against the law to sell or distribute methylene chloride for paint and coating removal in the retail marketplace—a step that will provide important public health protections for consumers,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler at the time.

And last April, the EPA proposed the latest ban, expanding to include all consumer, most industrial and commercial uses of methylene chloride, while allowing critical military, some manufacturing and processing uses with strict workplace safety requirements.

Visit www.epa.gov for more information from the Environmental Protection Agency.

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