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The Consumer Product Safety Commission is accepting comments through Nov. 1 on a petition requesting that it expand its 1987 policy statement regarding the labeling of household products containing methylene chloride to address acute hazards from inhalation of methylene chloride vapors.
The policy statement currently sets forth general principles and examples for labeling to warn consumers of potential cancer hazards but does not address acute hazards. However, the petitioner points out that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health have issued an alert identifying at least 14 deaths associated with the use of methylene chloride-containing paint strippers by professional bathtub refinishing operations. The petitioner states that because such goods are household products available for consumers to purchase and use, revising the policy statement to give specific guidance on labeling for the acute hazard posed by inhalation of methylene chloride vapors, particularly when used in an enclosed space, could help prevent future fatalities.
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