The death toll of paint remover chemicals is rising

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Steven Reinberg
Health Day reporter

Wednesday, April 21, 2021 (HealthDay News)-A new study found that although a deadly chemical in paint strippers is known to be dangerous, it continues to kill workers.

Chemical dichloromethane, also known as dichloromethane (DCM), is a solvent found in paint removers, cleaners, degreasers, adhesives, and sealants.After inhalation, a large amount of Carbon monoxide Can cut off oxygen entry heart.At high doses, it shuts down the brain Breathe central. Death can happen within a few minutes.

Veena Singla, a senior researcher at the San Francisco Natural Resources Defense Council, said: “It will make you feel dizzy, nauseous, and eventually become coma or even death, because doing so will make your body lose oxygen.”

She said: “In a small enclosed space like a bathroom, vapor can accumulate to harmful levels within 10 minutes.” “It is also dangerous in the long run. This is a known carcinogenic chemical, and it can also cause liver with kidney damage. “

carry on

Dichloromethane is a strong solvent that can quickly dissolve paint and adhesives. Although it has been banned in consumer products, it is still used in professional paint removers.

Singla said the industry has consistently refused to ban the use of the chemical and claimed that deaths related to the chemical were caused by failure to use appropriate protective equipment.

She said: “Another reason this chemical is so deadly is that the equipment you need to protect yourself from is very professional and not easily accessible to many people.”

Ordinary latex gloves cannot protect you from methylene chloride. Chemicals can pass through these gloves, but they are still absorbed by the skin. In addition, Singh said that a mask worn as a dust cover cannot prevent chemical fumes.

even Respirator She said that the use of cartridge filters is not effective for this chemical.

She said that although the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) bans the use of methylene chloride in consumer paint removers, consumers can still buy methylene chloride in certain products.

Singh said: “People should try to avoid using dichloromethane in any products and check old paint removers at home.”

carry on

Singh had done this research at the University of California, San Francisco, and he said that this chemical should be banned.

She said: “This chemical is too dangerous and too dangerous to be used safely. We really need to switch to safer alternatives.” “This has been done elsewhere. The European Union has moved away from methylene chloride and switched to using it. A safer alternative, and if we do this, we can prevent more deaths.”

In this study, Singla and colleagues reviewed the number of deaths related to methylene chloride between 1980 and 2018.

During this period, 85 people in the United States died from exposure to the chemical substance. Of these deaths, 74 people were related to work.

Paint remover is the most common product. The study found that the number of work-related deaths caused by paint peeling rose from 22 (55%) before 2000 to 30 (88%) after 2000.

In addition, the number of deaths caused by bathroom bathtubs or peeling paint rose from 2 (5%) before 2000 to 21 (62%) after 2000.

carry on

Between 1985 and 2017, the American Association of Poison Control Centers reported more than 37,000 cases of non-fatal methylene chloride.

This study showed that the number of non-fatal cases reported each year peaked at 1,701 in 1995, and then began to decline. Then, between 2010 and 2017, about 408 cases were stable each year, of which about 73 were in the workplace.

Liz Hitchcock, the head of the lobby group “Safer Chemicals and Healthy Families,” reviewed the study and said it confirmed what the public and the EPA already knew.

She said: “The methylene chloride in paint strippers will kill people in the workplace and has even killed them.”

According to Hitchcock, the US Environmental Protection Agency inspected the use of 53 types of methylene chloride and found that 47 of them pose unreasonable risks to the public. She said: “So of course they should ban it.”

Hitchcock said that during Trump’s administration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) no longer banned the use of the chemical. She hopes, however, that it will impose a ban during Biden’s presidency.

Hitchcock said: “This article once again shows us that the use of this chemical will bring unacceptable risks, and it is too dangerous to use.”

carry on

The results of the study were published online in the journal on April 19 JAMA Internal Medicine.

More information

For more information about dichloromethane, please visit Safer chemicals for healthy households.

Source: Dr. Veena Singla, Senior Scientist, San Francisco Natural Resources Defense Council; Liz Hitchcock, Director of Safe Chemicals and Healthy Family, Washington, DC; JAMA Internal Medicine, April 19, 2021, online

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