Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt has met with families of two men whose deaths were linked to a toxic compound in a widely sold paint stripper, weeks after lawmakers pressed him about an Obama-era rule that would limit sales to consumers.
Kathy Davis, the grandmother of a 21-year-old Nashville man who died in April 2017 after using a paint stripper containing methylene chloride, urged Pruitt to rethink his moves to roll back regulations.
“Americans are stupid. That’s why we have rules. That’s why we’re told to wear seatbelts,” Davis told the EPA administrator, according to her daughter, Wendy Hartley, who also was in the half-hour meeting Tuesday at EPA headquarters.
The Obama administration proposed a rule designed to keep paint strippers containing methylene chloride off the shelves of hardware and home-improvement stores for use by do-it-yourselfers. Exposure at close range can overcome and kill users, the EPA has acknowledged.
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