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.