The Environmental Safety Company stated Tuesday it has finalized a ban on client makes use of of methylene chloride, a chemical that is broadly used as a paint stripper however is known to cause liver cancer and different well being problems.

The EPA stated its motion will shield Individuals from well being dangers whereas permitting sure business makes use of to proceed with strong employee protections.

The rule banning methylene chloride is the second danger administration rule to be finalized by President Joe Biden’s administration below landmark 2016 amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act. The primary was an motion final month to ban asbestos, a carcinogen that kills tens of hundreds of Individuals yearly however continues to be used in some chlorine bleach, brake pads and different merchandise.

“Exposure to methylene chloride has devastated families across this country for too long, including some who saw loved ones go to work and never come home,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan stated in a assertion. The brand new rule , he stated, “brings an end to unsafe methylene chloride practices and implements the strongest worker protections possible for the few remaining industrial uses, ensuring no one in this country is put in harm’s way by this dangerous chemical.”

Methylene chloride, additionally known as dichloromethane, is a colorless liquid that emits a toxic vapor that has killed at the very least 88 employees since 1980, the EPA stated. Lengthy-term well being results embrace a number of cancers, together with liver cancer and lung cancer, and harm to the nervous, immune and reproductive methods.

The EPA rule would ban all client makes use of however enable sure “critical” makes use of in the navy and industrial processing, with employee protections in place, stated Michal Freedhoff, assistant administrator for the EPA’s Workplace of Chemical Security and Air pollution Prevention.

Methylene chloride will proceed to be allowed to make refrigerants instead to different chemical substances that produce greenhouse gases and contribute to local weather change, Freedhoff stated. It additionally will likely be allowed for use in electrical car batteries and for crucial navy capabilities.

“The uses we think can safely continue (all) happen in sophisticated industrial settings, and in some cases there are no real substitutes available,” Freedhoff stated.

The chemical business has argued that the EPA is overstating the dangers of methylene chloride and that satisfactory protections have mitigated well being dangers.

The American Chemistry Council, the business’s prime lobbying group, known as methylene chloride “an essential compound” used to make many merchandise and items Individuals depend on daily, together with paint stripping, pharmaceutical manufacturing and metallic cleansing and degreasing.

An EPA proposal final 12 months might introduce “regulatory uncertainty and confusion” with current publicity limits set by the federal Occupational Security and Well being Administration, the group stated.

The chemical council additionally stated it was involved that the EPA had not absolutely evaluated the rule’s impacts on the home provide chain and might find yourself prohibiting up to half of all finish makes use of topic to regulation below the Toxic Substances Management Act.

Whereas the EPA banned one client use of methylene chloride in 2019, use of the chemical has remained widespread and continues to pose important and typically deadly hazard to employees, the company stated. The EPA’s ultimate danger administration rule requires firms to quickly section down manufacturing, processing and distribution of methylene chloride for all client makes use of and most industrial and business makes use of, together with in dwelling renovations.

Client use will likely be phased out inside a 12 months, and most industrial and business makes use of will likely be prohibited inside two years.

Liz Hitchcock, director of a safer chemical substances program for the advocacy group Toxic-Free Future, praised the brand new rule however added: “As glad as we are to see today’s rule banning all consumer and most commercial uses, we are concerned that limits to its scope will allow continued exposure for too many workers to methylene chloride’s dangerous and deadly effects.”

Shoppers ought to search for labels indicating that a product is free from methylene chloride, stated the toxic-free group, which has revealed a listing of paint and varnish strippers and removers offered by main U.S. retailers that don’t include it.

Wendy Hartley, whose son Kevin died from methylene chloride poisoning after refinishing a bathtub at work, known as the brand new rule “a huge step that will protect vulnerable workers.”

Kevin Hartley, 21, of Tennessee, died in 2017. He was an organ donor, Wendy Hartley stated, including that due to the EPA’s actions, “Kevin’s death will continue to save lives.”