Reports confirm that online retail giant Amazon is enforcing a ban on the listing and sale of paint stripper products which contain the solvents n-methylpyrrolidone (NMP) and methylene chloride. The company has confirmed that this policy would commence from March 2019 and will be applied globally.
Apparently, this announcement from Amazon follows the launch of its chemicals management policy in October, which contains a restricted substances list of 54 chemicals. Companies selling these products online would seemingly have to provide documents which could confirm that they do not contain those two solvents.
This move comes on the heels of numerous U.S. retailers committing to ban paint strippers containing NMP and methylene chloride. These retailers include DIY store chains The Home Depot and Lowe’s, retail giant Walmart, and paints and coatings companies Sherwin-Williams and PPG. Home Hardware, a Canadian DIY chain had also announced a ban last month, which would take effect in 2019.
The NGO coalition Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families had lead a national campaign in 2017, through its Mind the Store initiative, which encouraged retailers to put an end to the sale of paint strippers involving these two chemicals. This was an outcome of reports which linked exposure to methylene chloride in paint strippers to over 60 deaths in the U.S.
Records show that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had proposed a rule last year to ban paint strippers that contain methylene chloride, after it found out that the products cause an unreasonable risk to human health. However, the proposal that would have also restricted or banned products which contain NMP, seems to have been halted.
Campaign director of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families for Mind the Store campaign, Mike Schade, stated that the EPA has dawdled this situation and consumers have suffered, while Lowe’s, Amazon and other retailers have stepped up.