17th May 2021

 

Announcement of the Dissolution of EASCR - European Association for Safer Coatings Removal

 

Officially registered in January 2006 EASCR’s activities contributed to the decision of the European Parliament and The Council of the European Union to ban the marketing and use of Paint Strippers containing Dichloromethane (DCM) in 2009. The transition period ended on June 6, 2012.

 

EASCR confronted authorities and industry with a DCM Paint Stripper Fatality List of documented cases (107 deaths and 720 incidents until 2015 - and this is only the tip of the ice-berg) and showed how severe the problem was. We positioned facts against assumptions, beliefs and advertisement.

 

Furthermore, we showed in comparison tests that safer alternative coating removers can do the job as good or even better than DCM (also called methylene chloride).

 

After the ban in Europe EASCR worked with the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) of the USA and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and shared its experience.

In January 2017 the EPA (still under President Obama) proposed a ban on DCM for paint and coating removal.

Under President Trump industry resisted the ban but caused by the strong opposition of consumer organizations (e.g. Mind the Store campaign) the EPA was able to ban all retail distribution of methylene chloride to consumers for paint and coating removal end of 2019.

 

Now under President Biden people take up the work again and an actual study reviewed 85 deaths related to methylene chloride between 1980 and 2018 and found that 74 were work-related.

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

Now America has its own fatality list and they know how to use it to create a change to the better.   

 

Within 15 years EASCR made the work life safer for decorators/painters and consumers in Europe and we shared our experience with stake-holders in the United States so that they can do the same in their country.

 

Our association is too small to make the rest of the world safer and so we have decided to dissolve it, because we consider our job is done in Europe.

 

We have got much farer than we ever thought and we remember very well how we have been hindered to participate in DCM paint stripper working groups of the EU Commission despite the support we got from ministries, authorities and trade associations in Germany and France .

It was only with the help of Commissionaire Verheugen, who personally got us in.

At the end the regulation to ban DCM paint strippers was accepted by EU-Parliament with 674 votes and 17 against it, but we should not forget that this result would not have been possible without the engagement of the Rapporteur Carl Schlyter and Advisor Axel Singhofen  from The GREENS / EFA Group and the supporters for alternative paint stripping in many ministries and institutions in different member states.

 

We want to thank

       

     -  all our founding members and our friends which are no longer with us.

     -  and all those which supported us in all these years and hope that you         will keep us in good memory.

 

There is no limit to what a man can do so long as he does not care a straw who gets the credit for it.  Charles Edward Montaque

 

Good Bye

 

Chairman:                     Dr. Gerald G. Altnau
Vice-chairman:            Werner Reinecke
Treasurer:                   Georg Scheidel

 

PS: The EASCR Homepage will be closed in August 2021.

 

 

 

 

EASCR activities are aimed at improving the safety at workplaces in the coatings removal and cleaning industry in a way that new product developments, based on safe alternative solvents, are introduced - so that the number of accidents and fatalities caused by the use of hazardous materials like dichloromethane can be significantly reduced, or completely avoided.

(read more)

 

 

NEW - Risk Values of Paint Stripper Solvents

Highly flammable solvents may be cost-attractive, but not the best choice for safe stripper formulations. A comparison tool for the selection of solvents with low risk can be very helpful for formulators and users. EASCR developed a 3-Step-Model based on REACH data and legal Technical Regulations. “Risk Values" (RV) of solvents are calculated by combining their Vapor hazard Ratio (VHR) with Effect Factors (EF). On 2nd December 2015 EASCR presented this

model at the Experts Discussion on Paint Strippersorganized by the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) in cooperation with the Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (IFA) and the Institute for Prevention and Occupational Medicine (IPA).

 

 

DCM Strippers banned in the European Union

The process began on 6 December 2010, when manufacturers of DCM-based paint strippers were banned from placing their products into the market for the use outside installations and ended on 6 June 2012 when all use of DCM strippers had to cease. 

(read more)

 

France

This Member State that used to consume 30% of the DCM paint strippers produced in the EU made a major effort to stop the work with DCM paint strippers. University, industry experts, associations of the construction and decorating industry and insurance companies worked together in order to train professionals and make them fit for a future without DCM.

(read more)  

 

Germany

With the DCM ban the use of this type of paint stripper stopped in this member state. Activities of the DCM Lobby to motivate Decorator Associations to get derogations established failed.

(read more)

 

UK

When France and Germany as equally large historical users like UK stopped DCM stripping in their countries and in the USA the alarm bells were ringing, the UK re-introduced DCM paint stripping under derogation effective December 2014. One may question whether this is a logical conclusion from the highest number of known fatalities in an EU Member State, especially when also happening at installations (dip tanks) which have been excluded from the ban because being considered as safe.

(read more)

 

Poland

Since June 2012 DCM paint strippers are produced and still freely marketed via wholesalers and the internet, ignoring the ban. Safety data sheet information implies exports as well. In September 2015 EASCR contacted the EU Commission and asked for clarification that is still pending. In October 2016 EASCR’s further follow-up resulted in the official confirmation that DCM paint strippers will be banned in Poland as well effective 1 January 2017.

(read more)

 

Switzerland

Switzerland does not belong to the EU but aligned its regulation to ban DCM paint strippers effective December 2014.

(read more)

 

USA - On its way to ban DCM Paint Strippers

Alarmed by the shocking high number of decorator fatalities the California Department of

Public Health (CDPH)  launched a customer education program encouraging the use of non-DCM-paint strippers in 2013. 2.400 posters were mailed out to independently owned hardware and paint stores in California.  (read more)

In Sept 2015 Jamie Smith Hopkins published an investigative Article on DCM and how it kills professionals and consumers, backed up by a compilation of 56 fatalities. It is sad to read how young some victims were and that also mothers died as well. The National Public Radio NPR broadcasted a Radio Story as well.
CPRW a world leader in construction safety and health research & training funded the production of a video to protect workers from methylene chloride (paint strippers). It was published in February 2016 and also recommends safer alternatives.

In May they launched a “Hazard Alert on DCM paint stripping”.

For the first time in more than 40 years, the primary chemical law in the USA is being updated. On June 22, 2016 President Obama signed into law the negotiated “Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform legislation” aimed at improving chemical safety and better regulating chemicals in commerce.

OSHA issued a final rule with new federal requirements to take effect August 10, 2016 and will create the largest publicly available data set on work injuries and illnesses to identify hazards and improve workplace safety.

On January 19, 2017 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes to prohibit the manufacture (including import), processing and distribution in commerce of methylene chloride (dichloromethane) for paint and coating removal. EPA excludes furniture refinishing at this time but intends to propose such a regulation at a later date.