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Organic Consumers Association

Campaigning for health, justice, sustainability, peace, and democracy

How the Trump Administration Pulled Back on Regulating Toxic Chemicals

The Trump administration has halted bans on toxic chemicals that are known to cause serious health threats. These moves, led by an ex-industry group executive now at the EPA, have allowed the continued use of products found to cause cancer, birth defects, and other ailments.

TCE is a clear, colorless liquid with a sweet odor that has proven itself for decades as an especially effective way for dry-cleaning shops to lift stubborn stains off of clothing, be it eye makeup, shoe polish, or ballpoint ink. NMP is another all-but-magic solvent, although it usually has a slightly yellow tint and a fishy odor. It is such a potent paint remover that if you spray it on a wall — as many city governments have done for years — you then can use a rag to simply wipe graffiti away.

There is just one complication with both of these modern conveniences: These substances are extremely harmful to your health. In fact, high levels of exposure to TCE in particular can kill you, while NMP causes birth defects, research shows.

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