Resin Company to Eliminate NMP from Portfolio

MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019

Global resins manufacturer Royal DSM (Wilmington, Massachusetts) announced last week that it will be phasing out all uses of 1-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (also known as n-methylpyrrolidone and more commonly known as NMP) from its resins product portfolio.

The phaseout is part of a larger effort by the company to eliminate all uses of high-concern chemicals from its finished products by 2025.

NMP and Methylene Chloride

NMP is a chemical also commonly found in paint strippers, which took a recent hit as the Environmental Protection Agency issued an official final rule prohibiting the manufacture and important processing and distribution of methylene chloride in all paint removers for consumer use.

This ruling stemmed from a proposal initially announced in January 2017, that had originally included NMP. At that time, the EPA said health effects of NMP include developmental toxicity (e.g., fetal death or decreased infant birth weight), neurotoxicity, immunotoxicity, liver and kidney toxicity and reproductive toxicity.

The original 277-page proposal regarding the chemicals calls for a prohibition on the manufacture (including import), processing, and distribution of both chemicals in commerce.

For both chemicals, the EPA had identified risks of concern associated with their use in the following specified sectors:

  • Painting and decorating;
  • Floor refinishing;
  • Automotive refinishing;
  • Civilian aircraft refinishing;
  • Graffiti removal;
  • Renovations and contracting;
  • Bridge repair and repainting; and
  • Marine craft refinishing and repair.

While the proposal took more than two years to solidify, language including NMP fell to the wayside, and during that time multiple retailers and manufacturers took manners into their own hands.

PPG, Kelly-Moore and The Sherwin-Williams Company, along with The Home Depot, Lowe’s and Amazon, all announced a phasing-out of methylene chloride throughout 2018.

After threats of lawsuits, the EPA released the final ruling in March, which still allowed sales of the chemical to contractors and other professionals, much to the ire of health advocacy groups.

What Now

DSM cited the European Commission’s classification of NMP as a “Substance of Very High Concern” as a reason for the move and notes that in the EU, after May 9, 2020, NMP will be restricted in mixtures in a concentration equal to or greater than 0.3%. In addition, the company notes that NMP is a Toxic Substance Control Act chemical in the United States.

“I’m very proud that—together with our partners and customers—we’re taking this leadership stance on the issue of NMP,” said Martin Vlak, Managing Director, DSM Coating Resins.

“It’s time to help our customers and their customers make the shift towards existing healthier products, or to proactively develop with our customers healthier products for (professional) painters who apply it in the homes and interiors of consumers and the families who live there. Our proactive step in eliminating NMP from our product portfolio is clearly aligned with our wider purpose of creating brighter lives for all.”

DSM aims to complete the phase-out by July 2020.


Tagged categories: Chemical stripping; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); EPA; EPA; EU; Good Technical Practice; Health and safety; Methylene chloride; NA; North America; Regulations; Safety

Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.