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Blue Bear builds on safety

Paint stripper from Franmar responds to chemical aversion.

BY HBSDealer Staff

In an environment of increased concern over paint strippers, Bloomington, Ill.-based cleaning products manufacturer Franmar sees a major opportunity for its new-formula paint stripper, Blue Bear Paint Stripper with Safenol.

The product was introduced against a background of retail backlash against products that contained methylene chloride and NMP (2-methyl-pyrollidone). Those moves preceded the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision last month to ban consumer products containing methylene chloride, which is the more dangerous of the two and has led to numerous fatalities.

Franmar’s new paint stripper removed NMP from its formula, and it never had methylene chloride to begin with. The key to the product is a proprietary product called Safenol, described as a bio-based product, which allows for effective stripping in a non-caustic, low-odor product.

“After the announcement of several of the major retailers and then some of the co-ops indicating that they were self-regulating both methylene chloride and NMP products ahead of an official EPA decision, we released a product that we had been working on specifically to address this particular scenario,” said Scott Sarver, marketing coordinator for Franmar.

He added: “We did use NMP in several of our products to help enhance the effectiveness of the soy. As these decisions about methylene chloride were being made last year, NMP was also lumped together with it, and several of the retailers indicated a shift away from it as well.”

The product is designed for use on concrete, masonry, wood, metal and fiberglass. It removes multiple layers of paint, varnish, enamel, urethane and other simple coatings, and lead-based paint. It’s currently available through the warehouses of Ace Hardware Corp. and True Value Company.

The EPA’s ban on methylene chloride does not extend to commercial products.

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