January 14, 2019
The Canadian company Distribution J. Des Serres Inc. has launched an innovative, safer alternative to conventional paint strippers that are based on methylene chloride.
“In 2018, we partnered with the Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, which developed a new, safer paint stripper without methylene chloride,” says Sébastien Plourde, president of Distribution J. Des Serres Inc.. “Even Health Canada refers to this state-of-the-art research facility when establishing its latest standards for safer chemicals. I am extremely proud to say that never in 70 years has an alternative to methylene chloride been as effective as it is now.”
Even though methylene chloride-based paint strippers have never been recalled by Health Canada or linked to any Canadian deaths – as they have in the U.S. – Plourde took the lead a few years ago to find a safer product formulation.
The product –New Generation Stripper by Super Remover – has been featured in reports by such U.S. news organizations as Mother Jones, the Center for Public Integrity and CBS News. The methylene chloride–free formulation already exceeds upcoming standards that are expected to be introduced in an effort to curtail the toxicity of household chemicals.
Products containing methylene chloride have gradually been taken off retail shelves in the U.S. and Canada as early as June of last year, in response to pressure tactics directed toward distributors by health groups and relatives of accident victims.
The group Healthy Families has managed to persuade a half-dozen retail giants – among them Lowe’s, Home Depot, Sherwin-Williams and some others – to stop selling these types of paint strippers as of Dec. 31, 2018.
Canadian Tire and Home Hardware have followed suit and stopped selling methylene chloride paint strippers.
Products containing methylene chloride have been banned in Europe since 2012.