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EPA indefinitely postpones bans on harmful toxic chemicals found in consumer products

Although EPA previously acknowledged the danger to human health of three toxic chemicals, namely methylene chloride, N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP), and trichloroethylene (TCE), this month it has dropped a proposed ban and rendered ongoing enforcement actions related thereto as “long-term actions” without set deadlines. Methylene chloride is toxic to the brain and liver and is an ingredient in paint strippers; NMP, also an ingredient in paint strippers, can harm the reproductive system, and TCE, used as a spot cleaner (and formerly more-widely used as a degreaser), is “carcinogenic to humans by all routes of exposure” and causes developmental and reproductive damage. In an EPA news release this month, the Agency pointed to avoiding “unnecessary regulatory burdens that stifle economic growth for communities across the country” as motivation for the indefinite postponement of the toxic chemical bans.

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