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Lowe’s commits to phasing out toxic paint removal products

Staff report

MOORESVILLE — Lowe’s said Tuesday that it will phase out paint removal products with the chemicals methylene chloride and NMP from its product selection by the end of the year.

The home improvement chain also plans to work with the Environmental Protection Agency on a regulatory standard across the industry.

“We care deeply about the health and safety of our customers, and great progress is being made in the development of safer and more effective alternatives,” said Mike McDermott, Lowe’s chief customer officer. “As a home improvement leader, we recognize the need for viable paint removal products and remain committed to working closely with suppliers to further innovate in this category.”

In the interim, Lowe’s will take additional steps, including working with the EPA, key nongovernmental organizations and suppliers to market new alternatives and lead change in the industry.

The Green Chemistry & Commerce Council, a collaborative that counts Lowe’s among its retailer members, has said it welcomes the opportunity to work with the company on more sustainable options.

“Lowe’s announcement provides an important stimulus for green chemistry solutions,” said GC3 Director Joel Tickner. “As we work with GC3 members and others across the entire value chain, we recognize that green chemistry alternatives must offer comparable performance at a reasonable price for the end-users, whether consumers or contractors.”

Lowe’s sells several paint remover alternatives without methylene chloride available and plans to stock more options by year’s end.

Lowe’s has worked with its vendors to encourage improved labeling on packaging to better communicate the proper use of these chemicals, along with product safety guides and instructions on Lowes.com.

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