Chemical in paint remover found dangerous for pregnant women

The Environmental Protection Agency has found that a chemical commonly used to remove paint poses a health risk to pregnant women and women of childbearing age.

EPA released its risk assessment for N-Methylprrolidone (NMP) on Monday afternoon, which found there’s an acute and chronic risk for adverse developmental outcomes if the mother or an unborn baby is exposed to the chemical.

The use of gloves and respirators, EPA said do not adequately reduce the risks to women of childbearing age who use NMP for more than four hours per day on a single day or repeatedly use the chemical for a number of consecutive days.

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The risk assessment was developed as part of the agency Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976, which is widely viewed as unenforceable.  Lawmakers have been working to reform TSCA for almost a generation.

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“By completing this assessment, we have taken an important step in protecting pregnant women and women of childbearing age who are using NMP to remove paint,” said Jim Jones, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.

“It is a reminder that as we evaluate these risks, it is very clear that our nation’s chemical laws are in much need of reform. Completing this assessment will now trigger a process to address these unacceptable risks."