CHARLESTON, SC – The family members of a 31-year-old Charleston man killed by a commonly purchased paint stripper are telling their story today, and calling for a national ban. They are warning the public about the dangers of paint strippers containing the chemical methylene chloride, sold at home-improvement stores around the country.
“We are speaking out today because we want everyone to know how dangerous these paint strippers are. Our son, Drew, was killed by the ordinary use of this product, and we never want another family to go through this agony,” parents Cindy and Hal Wynne said.
On October 13, 2017, Charleston entrepreneur Drew Wynne was removing paint from the floor of his startup coffee company, Riptide Coffee, in North Charleston, SC. Drew was using a product he purchased at a local home-repair store. As Drew was applying the paint stripper to the floor, he was overcome by the paint stripper’s vapors and incapacitated.
“Drew had just started a small business, and we were all so proud of him. It wasn’t until after his death that we learned that methylene chloride-based paint strippers like the one Drew used have caused dozens of deaths across the country,” said Brian Wynne, Drew’s brother.
“We need the EPA and Congress to take immediate action to save other Americans’ lives,” Cindy and Hal Wynne said. Brian Wynne added: “EPA’s stalling actions are a terrible mistake. The move came after chemical companies lobbied against banning high risk uses of the chemical—arguing, instead, for a new warning label. But warning labels are inadequate for a product where ordinary use can be deadly.”
EDF and the Wynne family are urging federal officials to take seriously their duty to protect our families from dangerous chemicals. Cleaning paint off of an old floor should never have tragic consequences.
For photos and video of Drew Wynne, plus other background materials, please visit: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/gc9qlrui4dt15zl/AADodo3txjcI6w3d1TTKeB0Ma?dl=0
For more information on methylene chloride, please visit: https://www.edf.org/health/dcm-methylene-chloride
# # #
Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org), a leading international nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. Connect with us on EDF Voices, Twitter and Facebook.