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 EZstrip.ca 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 @ EZstrip.ca

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 EZstrip.ca 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!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Methylene chloride in paint strippers: A ban is the only health-protective path forward

Under the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is required to perform risk evaluations on the uses of ten specific chemicals, including methylene chloride. 

According to the EPA, it is nearing completion of problem formulations for these first ten chemicals. EPA's announcement states that it will send a final methylene chloride rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) "shortly." EPA also notes that is not reevaluating the paint stripping uses of methylene chloride, and instead is relying on its previous risk assessment done in 2014. The EPA identified the risks posed by methylene chloride when it is used in paint removers in a final risk assessment available for review here TSCA-work-plan-chemical-risk-assessment 

On May 10, 2018, the EPA announced several upcoming actions on methylene chloride and has signaled it will advance a delayed rule regulating consumer and worker use of methylene chloride-based paint strippers. The record for EPA’s proposed ban is clear:  Allowing such products to stay on the market based on reliance on such factors as increased labeling, protective equipment, or training requirements simply will not protect the public’s or workers’ health. 

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) guidance recommending additional labeling falls far short of what is needed for several additional reasons:

First, the guidance is not legally binding.

Second, CPSC only has authority over consumers, not workers; yet the latter is the sub-population most often reported to be harmed through use of methylene chloride-containing paint and coating removal products. In a June 2016 letter to EPA, CPSC supported EPA's efforts to use TSCA to promulgate a ban: "Because TSCA gives EPA the ability to reach both occupational and consumer uses, we recognize that EPA may address risks associated with these chemicals in a more cohesive and coordinated manner given that CPSC lacks authority to address occupational hazards.

Third, labeling is of extremely limited efficacy in controlling exposure.  CPSC’s guidance recognizes the limits of labeling: “Warnings research demonstrates that even small inconveniences to the consumer can have a substantial negative effect on behavioral compliance with a warning.” EPA’s proposed ban clearly indicated and extensively documented that labeling would be insufficient to mitigate the risks posed by these uses of methylene chloride to consumers and workers.

The Environmental Defense Fund is encouraged by EPA’s statement last week that it has decided move forward to finalize its proposed rule banning methylene chloride in paint stripping products.  We urge EPA to promptly finalize its ban – which is the only way to adequately protect public and worker health.

Find safe paint stripping alternatives that don't put you or your family at risk. Follow this link for the number one safest DIY friendly paint removal option here EZstrip.ca

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Safe & Easy Furniture Refinishing At Your Fingertips!

Traditional Furniture Refinishing Hazards

Furniture refinishing has always been a hazardous and difficult project because of the need to first remove the existing coating. Paint and varnish strippers are commonly toxic and hazardous to the environment. Traditional paint strippers contain chemicals like methylene chloride a carcinogen that can cause severe skin burns, effect your nervous system even cause death. Other common chemicals are NMP, Acetone, Toluene, Caustic Soda all of which have a laundry list of hazardous effects that can be breathed in and absorbed through the skin. No matter your removal method strippers, heat guns, and even sanding can release toxins into the air and they all require a different type of safety certified breathing mask to prevent exposure do you know what you need to keep safe?

The Safer Option

Now you can take the guessing and hazards of stripping paint and varnish right out of the equation. EZ Strip Paint & Varnish Stripper is the only way to truly be safe when stripping furniture. EZ Strip's formula is a skin safe low VOC stripper that cleans up with just water. The solution is 100% water soluble and biodegradable for an environmentally friendly removal option for furniture coatings. No gloves, masks, or forced ventilation required. Unlike traditional stripping chemicals that require a second chemical to neutralize the first EZ Strip cleans up with just tap water. Everything you remove with EZ Strip doesn't require specialized disposal either just discard removed coatings in your regular household garbage. Caution if you suspect the coating you want to remove could contain lead paint call a certified professional. They have a training to remove lead paint safely and dispose of properly.   

How It Works

The technology behind this new innovative product allows the stripper to penetrate paint and varnish coatings and release the bond between coating and surface. This process happens without a chemical reaction with the coating being removed which can cause VOCs in that coating to be released into the air. EZ Strip will not over saturate the substrate causing wood grains to raise or splinter. This makes EZ Strip ideal for refinishing antique wood furniture. EZ Strip is safe to use on most surfaces including all types of wood, metal, stone, tile, bricks, concrete, glass, and fiber glass. Use caution with plastics as EZ Strip may etch some plastics. Visit the how to remove page on the EZ Strip website today for detailed removal info and directions at http://www.ezstrip.ca/how-to-remove/

Where To Buy

EZ Strip Paint & Varnish Stripper is now available in a variety of locations! Visit the where to buy page on the EZ Strip website and find a local store that carries this great safe alternative to furniture refinishing near you today! Visit http://www.ezstrip.ca/buy-ez-strip/

See It In Action

Watch EZ Strip Paint & Varnish Stripper transform old and tired furniture into treasures! Subscribe to the EZ Strip You Tube Channel for great project ideas here https://www.youtube.com/TheEZstrip

Chest Refinishing

Mirror Refinishing

Table Refinishing

Stair Refinishing

Now there is a safe alternative for furniture refinishing so you can take on that refinishing project without the hazards and high environmental impact worries traditional strippers pose! 

EZ Strip Because Life Has Never Been This EZ!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Paint Stripper Chemical Bans Delayed Even After Recent Tragic Deaths From Product

A proposed federal ban on a potentially deadly chemical found in common paint strippers may be on hold indefinitely. The EPA says methylene chloride a chemical banned in Europe since 2012 poses an unreasonable risk and has been implicated in dozens of deaths. According to the Environment Defense Fund, more than 50 deaths have been attributed to exposure of methylene chloride. Three deaths were reported in 2017. The agency proposed a ban in January 2017, but postponed it late last year.

Who Is Affected?

Methylene chloride is a commonly used paint stripper found in hardware stores and it's possibly in your garage right now. After a young man from Charleston, South Carolina died last October resurfacing the floor of a walk-in refrigerator his family says no label could ever let people know how dangerous it is. 31 year old Drew Wynne was using a paint stripper, Goof Off, manufactured by company W.M. Barr. when he was overcome by the fumes of the product. The coroner's report concluded he was incapacitated by toxic fumes and the cause of death was acute methylene chloride toxicity.

The family is asking for this chemical to be banned immediately "The pain runs deep. Not only for me but for my husband and my other two sons," Cindy Wynne said. It's deadly but found in stripping products on store shelves across the country, something Drew's brother Brian quickly learned. "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?" Brian said. Watch an interview with the family after the incident here  https://www.cbsnews.com/news/dangerous-paint-stripper-chemical-methylene-chloride-ban-on-hold/

What's Being Done?

The Ann Arbor Ecology Center has renewed efforts to raise awareness of the dangers of methylene chloride. They are asking home improvement retailers to stop selling products that contain this chemical by circulating a petition and reaching out directly to retailers. Cans of methylene chloride paint strippers bear a prominent warning label including phrases like "Inhalation of vapors may cause death." The cans also contain extensive safe use instructions. However, the instructions are often widely ignored, and are themselves inadequate. "You are not able to safely use these products because the precautions required to be taken, and the personal protective equipment that would be required, is just not commonly available. It would require training to remotely be able to safely use the products," says Jeff Gearhart, Research Director for the Ann Arbor Ecology Center.

Recent deaths have also occurred in Tennessee and California. Kevin Hartley, a 21-year-old from Nashville, died while refinishing a bathtub in April 2017. He was using a commercial product called White Lightning Low Odor Stripper. In June, a worker stripping a bathtub with Jasco Premium Paint & Epoxy Remover in Huntington Park, CA, died from methylene chloride poisoning.

What Can You Do?

One thing consumers can do is only purchase safer alternatives when looking for paint strippers. Show retailers there is a high demand for non-toxic paint removers and toxic paint strippers are no longer wanted on consumers shelves! Be diligent when researching your preferred paint removal product. Your health is worth the time to look up the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for the product you want to use. SDS info can help you make sure the product you want to use is the right removal method for your project and you have the right safety equipment to use it safely.

For more information on safe paint removers and strippers visit http://www.ezstrip.ca/