Monday, March 18, 2019

EPA Bans Methylene Chloride In Consumer Paint Removers

Paint strippers containing methylene chloride and N-methyl pyrrolidone (NMP) have been cited as toxic by medical experts and consumer safety groups. According to the national environmental health organization Safer Chemicals at least 64 people have died from acute exposure to methylene chloride since 1980.

The EPA's ban on the use of methylene chloride in consumer paint removal products announced Friday only pertains to the sale of methylene chloride to consumers, and does not affect use in the workplace. This new ban also does not include NMP, an alternative for methylene chloride that medical experts say can cause birth defects and reproductive issues.

The ban will cover the manufacture, import, processing and distribution of methylene chloride at a consumer level. A prohibition on retail sales – including for e-commerce and distribution establishments that serve consumers – will take effect within 180 days of the rule’s effective date.

What does this mean for retailers and consumers?

Numerous retailers promised to stop the sale of paint strippers containing methylene chloride even before this week's announcement by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of a ban on sales to consumers. The following companies have already announced commitments to stop selling products that contained methylene chloride and NMP.

Ace Hardware – phasing out by end of July, but according to Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, some local stores are independently operated and may carry paint strippers from other distributors. 
Amazon – effective March.
Home Hardware – as of this year.
True Value
Walmart – as of February.
Lowes – planned to be phased out by the end of 2018.
Sherwin-Williams – planned to be removed by the end of 2018.
Home Depot – planned to be phased out by the end of 2018.
Canadian Tire – planned to be phased out by the end of 2018.
AutoZone – planned to be discontinued in 2018, according to Bloomberg.
PPG – planned to be discontinued in 2018, according to Bloomberg. 
Kelly-Moore Paint Co. – planned to be discontinued in 2018, according to Bloomberg. 

Replacement products and "safer" alternative strippers have flooded the market leaving no lack of choices for consumers. Lots of manufacturers are now claiming to make Eco-friendly paint strippers, but some of these claims are dubious and may be just greenwashing. Unsubstantiated or misleading claims about the environmental benefits of a product are common.

What Can You Do?

Check the Safety Data Sheet on any paint stripper you plan to use before you buy. Many of so-called Eco-friendly paint strippers still have plenty of toxic chemicals in them, like solvents, binders, etc. In any case, follow safety recommendations, dispose of them appropriately and use common sense. If you are concerned because you have small children or chemical sensitivities, consider a paint stripper with tested and proven science to back it up.

Visit today for safe alternatives to paint removal with no greenwashing needed! Your health is worth it! When it comes to paint stripping knowledge is power always know exactly what your working with from the removal product to the material you are stripping. Using some basic safety precautions that start at the time of purchasing the stripper and finish with the proper disposal of removed materials will ensure your safety and low environmental impact.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

The Truth About Methylene Chloride

Methylene chloride although an effective paint stripping chemical is now known to be very toxic and has no business in retail. The chemical enters the body when inhaled and can be absorbed through unprotected skin. It can immediately irritate the eyes, nose and throat. Direct contact can cause severe burns to the skin and eyes. Even small exposures are harmful over time as they can damage the liver, kidneys and nerves, and can cause cancer.

The ban on methylene chloride in removers sold in the USA and Canada was first proposed in
January 2017.  Since then, at least four people have died using the products.  In enclosed areas, the fumes build up, putting users at risk of death by asphyxiation.  The chemical has also been shown to cause heart attacks.  A 2015 investigation by the Center for Public Integrity cited at least 56 deaths in the United States alone since 1980 which were linked to methylene chloride.

“I was shocked. I mean, how is it that you can find something that will kill you instantly and, buy it, just off the shelf?” said Brian Wynne. His brother Drew died last year while resurfacing a floor in South Carolina while using the product “Goof Off.”

Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Walmart, Amazon, Sherwin Williams and other smaller retail chains have said they will begin phasing out sales of these products by the end of 2018.  The popular retail chains also promised to stop selling paint removers with an ingredient, often known as NMP, that research suggests could reduce fertility and endanger unborn children.

Some product manufacturers have addressed the issue by removing methylene chloride only to put in toluene and methanol, both linked to birth defects.  A 2015 report released by a safer-chemical organization called BizNGO classified toluene and methanol as “high concern.”

A new formulation that avoids those chemicals was developed by the UK company Eco Solutions and has been made available in North America by the Canadian company EZ Strip. This water based formula provides excellent paint stripping capabilities while also being user friendly. EZ Strip's skin safe low VOC gel cleans up with just water and is biodegradable so it's safe to dispose in your regular household garbage.

Visit the EZ Strip website today

for where to buy info, removal project ideas, and how to videos! 

Thursday, November 1, 2018

How To Remove Popcorn Ceilings

Removing drywall textures that have been painted can be very difficult and EZ Strip has a DIY solution that can help! Drywall textures have many names to describe the style of texture but they are all created with drywall mud compound. So no matter if you have popcorn, stomp, swirl, orange peel, knockdown, or any other name for your texture its all the same when it comes to removal. Mud compound by itself is a water soluble material that can be removed with just water however once it has been painted which is often the case it becomes very difficult to penetrate with water solutions. EZ Strip Popcorn Ceiling Remover is a non-toxic removal solution that will penetrate through multiple layers of paint and soften your drywall texture. It also coats the material being removed for a dust free removal. Below is the everything you need to complete your project. Be sure to watch the how to remove video at the end!

First thing you need to do is gather your materials you will need:

  1. EZ Strip Popcorn Ceiling Remover (coverage is approx. 120 sq ft per gallon)
  2. Painters' Tape
  3. Plastic sheeting (thin plastic is better)
  4. Container for product
  5. Wide brush or thick roller
  6. Step ladder to reach
  7. Broom
  8. 6 inch mud spatula
  9. Paint tray
  10. Clean cloth
  11. Water 

Step 1 Prep

You want to start by taping off any surfaces you do not want to treat with plastic. Be sure to protect your floors and any painted surfaces before application. If you can remove your furniture before hand it will make the project much easier. This type of removal project can be a little messy so protect your stuff!

Step 2 Apply

Shake EZ Strip Popcorn Ceiling Remover very well then pour product into a container. Apply a thick even coating to surface. Tip: work in manageable sections (one room at a time) so you can cover treated areas with plastic before product drys out. Tip: if you drip EZ Strip on anything you don't want it on wipe clean with water immediately to neutralize.   

Step 3 Cover 

EZ Strip Popcorn Ceiling Remover is a water based remover that stops working if it drys out. For removal times that require an over night set time (thicker textures or textures painted with oil based products) cover treated area with plastic. Using plastic sheeting tape the starting edge to the wall (here is where you need some help) have someone lift up the opposite edge while you push the plastic up to treated surface with a broom, plastic should stick to wet product. Continue to tape edges as you go until entire treated surface is covered. Then use the broom to push out any air bubbles so you have a tight seal. This will keep the product wet and working and improve texture penetration.  

Step 4 Scrape

Once texture is soften enough to scrape peel back plastic and scrape surface with your mud spatula catching falling material with a plastic lined paint tray to minimize mess. Softened material should scrape off fairly easily and fall with no dust. Be sure to scrape a long the drywall tape seems not against. You do not want to remove the drywall tape that covers the seems between drywall boards. Scrape evenly along seems without too much pressure to remove texture but not expose tape.

Step 5 Wipe

To finish wipe surface with a damp clean cloth. Be sure to remove any remaining EZ Strip product and texture. This will ensure you have proper paint adhesion. EZ Strip Popcorn Ceiling Remover cleans up with just water. All tools and containers can be cleaned with just water. Be careful to not over saturate the exposed drywall a damp cloth is all you need. Let surface completely dry before patching and painting. 

Now that you have all the details watch the how to remove video on the EZ Strip YouTube Channel and see EZ Strip Popcorn Ceiling Remover in action here:

For purchase details and more removal info visit the EZ Strip website @ 

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

What's The Scoop On Safer Paint Strippers?

VOC stands for volatile organic compound -- any of several chemicals found in numerous consumer products, from gasoline and glue to correction fluid and colored markers. Even cosmetics, mothballs, air fresheners and household cleaning supplies contain VOCs.

Because they're volatile, these compounds vaporize and emit gasses. Paint strippers, for example, can emit high levels of VOCs into the air during use causing serious health problems and even death.

What Are the Risks Associated with VOC's?

VOCs are linked to a range of health problems, including some very serious diseases. Methylene Chloride a common chemical found in paint strippers, for example, is one of several VOCs that's known to cause cancer ... not suspected -- known, beyond any doubt. Other health effects besides cancer include kidney damage, liver damage, damage to the central nervous system (including the brain), as well as complaints like headaches and eye, throat, nose irritation, and death.

The health effects of VOCs vary from source to source, and from person to person. Professional painters have been found to have a range of serious health problems, especially liver and kidney damage. People with pre-existing conditions, pregnant and nursing women, small children and other sensitive people are at particular risk.

Even an occasional paint stripping project can increase your risk of physical problems. Levels of VOCs inside your house can increase up to 1,000 times after doing something like paint stripping. Paint stripping products, in fact, are the second-largest source of VOCs after cars. The VOCs in paint strippers can seriously affect the indoor air quality of even a well-ventilated home or work shop.

Avoiding VOCs and Considering "Green" Paint Strippers 

Lots of manufacturers are now claiming to make Eco-friendly paint strippers, but some of these claims are dubious and may be just greenwashing. Greenwashing is the practice of making an unsubstantiated or misleading claim about the environmental benefits of a product, service, technology or company practice. Greenwashing can make a company appear to be more environmentally friendly than it really is.

First of all, always follow all the manufacturer's recommendations regarding safe use. Use only in well-ventilated areas, for example, and keep stripping products away from children and pets. And always look for paint strippers that have low-VOCs.

What is N-Methylpyrrolidone?

N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP), also known as N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone or 1-methyl-2-pyrrolidinone and colloquially as Methylpyrrolidone, is a colorless to slightly yellow liquid with a slight amine or “fishy” odor. NMP is an organic compound found in "safer paint strippers" often citrus or soy based stripping products. The problem is they are safer than Methylene Chloride but that is where it ends as they can still pose high health risks when used and because they pose as safe, people do not use the proper safety precautions required when using them.

Exposure To NMP

Humans may be exposed to NMP through inhalation and skin contact with liquid and vapor forms of NMP. Exposure may also occur through ingestion of mists that deposit in the nose, mouth and throat. Consumers may be exposed when using NMP-containing products. Individuals may be exposed to NMP inhalation or skin absorption from use, from its disposal in landfills where it may evaporate into the air or leach into groundwater, and from a small amount of volatilization of contaminated water during showering or bathing.

What can you do? 

Check the Safety Data Sheet on any paint stripper you plan to use before you buy. Many of so-called Eco-friendly paint strippers still have plenty of toxic chemicals in them, like solvents, binders, etc. In any case, follow safety recommendations, dispose of them appropriately and use common sense. If you are concerned because you have small children or chemical sensitivities, consider a paint stripper with tested and proven science to back it up.

Visit today for safe alternatives to paint removal with no greenwashing needed! Your health is worth it!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

DIY Home Improvement Projects For Fall

Fall is quickly approaching do you have your to do list for home improvements? Most building materials are at their best when they are installed at moderate temps. Use this time to get these fall maintenance and renovation projects done before it’s too late!

Paint The Front Door

Hands down, the easiest exterior project is also the one that reaps the biggest rewards. A freshly painted front door helps your home stand out from the block, and it can be finished in less than an afternoon. Fall is usually the perfect time for this activity; just pick that afternoon wisely. Normally, exterior painting should be done at a time when the temps are at least 50°F/10°C or so and aren’t dipping below the 40°F/5°C at night. This allows the paint to adhere properly and prevents it from freezing before it is fully dry. If you need to refinish first to ensure proper paint adhesion or want to change to stain we recommend using a safe stripper. Caution most paint stripping products are toxic only use products you are comfortable using based on your level of expertise. For safe DIY wood/fiberglass/metal refinishing we recommend EZ Strip Paint & Varnish Stripper

Clean & Cover The Grill

It’s time to break out the cleaners and steel-bristled brushes, because your grill needs attention. Get rid of any remaining scraps of food or grease, turn off the gas, and cover the grill to protect it from weather and pests. Overwhelmed with grease? Cleaning your grill after a busy summer of bbq delights can seem a little daunting but we have a solution that will transform your grill into the beauty it was when you bought it. EZ Strip All Purpose Remover is the non toxic option for tough baked on grease.

Repair & Treat The Deck

A deck is only as good as its condition. If the wood is splintering, the finish faded, or the paint is peeling its time to get those repairs in before the snow flies! If your deck is not properly treated for water damage prevention it will just be more work after the snow melts. For damaged water sealants or peeling paint you always want to strip off the damaged coating to ensure you get the coating adhesion you need to protect your deck from water, weather, pests, and wood rot. For safe DIY wood/fiberglass/metal refinishing we recommend EZ Strip Paint & Varnish Stripper

As the weather starts to cool down, you have the perfect opportunity to clean up summer messes and prepare your home for colder days. Use this time to get these fall maintenance and renovation projects done before it’s too late!

For more information on safe removal products from EZ Strip visit the website @

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Retailers VS Chemical Companies

Three major retailers have announced they will be banning paint strippers containing Methylene Chloride and N-Methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) from their stores by the end of 2018. This is a result of pressure from the families of victims who were overcome and died from the fumes of paint strippers with Methylene Chloride. NMP is a proven reproductive toxin and has been added to the ban list as it can harm male and female reproductive organs and harm unborn babies in the womb.

Home Depot, Lowe's, and Sherwin Williams have all stepped up to the plate to ban these chemicals from their shelves in an effort to make safer choices available for customers. This is a big win and small silver lining for the families of not just recent reported victims, but for all the victims that have died in the past 40 years.  At least 64 people have died from acute exposure to Methylene Chloride since 1980 in the US alone.

So what is the most effective safe alternative to chemical paint stripping? One brand that has proven stripping results with a skin safe low VOC formula is EZ Strip. EZ Strip has a range of removal products that will remove everything from paint, varnish, stain, markers, ink, adhesive, glue residues,
tree pitch, gum, bugs, tar, kitchen/garage grease, stickers, decals, graffiti, and a new product that will remove painted drywall textures. All EZ Strip products clean up with just water, can be safely disposed of in your regular house hold garbage, have a very low environmental impact, and are easy to use. Visit for removal tips, where to buy options, and great removal project ideas today!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Retailers Answering Consumers Plea To Ban These Toxic Products From Stores!

A big win for consumer health today as the announcement from three major US retailers Home Depot, Lowe's, and Sherwin Williams comes in. These retailers will be banning the sale of paint strippers that contain the toxic chemicals methylene chloride and N-Methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) by the end of 2018!

Health authorities believe these paint strippers have claimed dozens of lives. EPA scientists have said methylene chloride a known cancer causing carcinogenic poses an "unreasonable risk." NMP can affect reproductive organs in men and women and also fetus development when pregnant women are exposed. But products containing these chemicals have been sold to consumers for years. Victims, usually young men, have died after doing things like stripping paint off a car or bath tub for example.

Those families have been pushing for action not only at the EPA but at the retail level.

The three companies planning to stop the sale of these products Lowe's said it wants to "bring safer, affordable options to customers." Home Depot said it wants to improve health and environmental safety for products. Sherwin Williams said it also has "effective alternatives" that do not contain methylene chloride. There was a lot of concern the EPA would not uphold its planned ban on the chemical. Activists said they are cautiously optimistic at this point that it will still happen. However, that will take much longer, and the families of the victims are not willing to wait and watch more people die.

What can you do?

Protect your family, community, and environment with purchase power! Only buy and use paint removal products that do not contain toxic chemicals. Consumers can also check the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Website which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency creates toxicity profiles for every chemical and consumers can use them to determine whether a chemical is hazardous.

Safe alternatives for paint stripping are available. One company using new innovative water technology to replace toxic chemicals in their paint removal products is EZ Strip. EZ Strip removal products break the molecular bond between coating and surface without using harmful chemicals. EZ Strip removal solutions are skin safe, low VOC, and water soluble. Meaning they clean up with just water and biodegrade so they don't hang around in the environment.

Visit The EZ Strip Website and find safe removal solutions today!