May 16, 2021


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First comprehensive review in US reveals more fatalities than expected due to deadly chemical — ScienceDaily

Scientists and physicians from the Occupational Basic safety and Health and fitness Administration (OSHA) and UC San Francisco have observed that deaths of staff using methylene chloride paint strippers are on the rise. The solvent is commonly utilised in paint strippers, cleaners, adhesives and sealants.

The review is the initial comprehensive overview of fatalities connected to the lethal chemical in the United States and determined a lot more deaths than formerly documented.

The Environmental Security Agency (EPA) has acknowledged fifty three fatalities related to the chemical from 1980 to 2018. The new review determined eighty five deaths more than the similar time period, most of them happening in occupational configurations (87 p.c). The review is printed April 19, 2021, in JAMA Interior Medication.

The authors urged action from the EPA to restrict use of the chemical and reduce foreseeable future deaths.

“It is unacceptable that these staff died basically mainly because they were doing their task,” mentioned guide writer Annie Hoang, a UCSF healthcare pupil and investigation fellow at UCSF’s Application on Reproductive Health and fitness and the Environment. “I hope the EPA will do its task to defend our staff and save lives.”

The researchers think that methylene chloride fatalities are undercounted in the United States due to fragmented community health reporting. To detect deaths from the chemical, the researchers undertook a massive lookup of distinct resources, such as printed scientific papers and government databases, compiling information and facts that bundled healthcare data and autopsy findings, the place out there. Their evaluation observed an raise considering that 2000 in occupational fatalities related to each paint stripping and to rest room design, due to stripping bathtubs.

In early 2017, EPA proposed a rule banning virtually all methylene chloride strippers in each the workplace and for client use. But in 2019 beneath new leadership, EPA limited the ban to client goods while even now permitting professional use to proceed unchecked.

“Centered on our findings, staff are even now at threat from methylene chloride goods,” mentioned Kathleen Fagan, MD, MPH, former Health-related Officer in the Place of work of Occupational Medication and Nursing at OSHA and one particular of the study’s researchers. “Health and fitness treatment suppliers have a critical part to engage in in protecting against deaths by counseling at-threat sufferers on threat reduction and providing assets on safer possibilities to methylene chloride.”

The paper documented that while regulatory procedures more than the past 25 years mandated products labeling and employee protections, fatalities ongoing throughout that time, with a better proportion of the latest deaths tied to the use of paint stripping goods. The wide bulk of deaths were among gentlemen (93.8 p.c). Of the eighty five fatalities, in 70 cases that had certain information and facts about age, the median age was 31.

The researchers concluded that despite regulatory initiatives to address the toxicity of methylene chloride for buyers and staff, fatalities are continuing in the U.S., specially in occupational configurations. They mentioned that avoidance should emphasize safer substitutes, not hazard warnings or reliance on own protecting products.

“Safer possibilities to methylene chloride are out there and in prevalent use,” mentioned senior writer Veena Singla, PhD, a senior scientist at the Organic Methods Defense Council. Earlier, she was director of science and plan with UCSF’s Application on Reproductive Health and fitness and the Environment.

“The science is very clear,” Singla mentioned. “It is previous time to eradicate this lethal chemical and reduce any further more tragic reduction of lifestyle.”

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Products offered by University of California – San Francisco. Unique written by Elizabeth Fernandez. Note: Content material could be edited for design and size.