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FDA Will Ban Methylene Chloride From Cosmetic Sprays

June 29, 1989

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday it plans to ban the use of methylene chloride, a suspected carcinogen, in hair spray and other aerosol cosmetic products.

The ban is based on studies showing that when inhaled methylene chloride can cause lung and liver tumors in laboratory mice, said FDA spokesman William Grigg.

Rules for the ban were published in Thursday’s Federal Register and were to take effect in 60 days.

Most hair spray manufacturers have stopped using methylene chloride as a fire retardant and drying agent since the FDA proposed the ban in December 1985. A recent FDA survey of Washington-area stores found only one brand containing the substance, Grigg said.

Methylene chloride also is used to remove caffeine from coffee, but the FDA said it had no immediate plans to ban this use because studies show the cancer risk comes from inhaling the substance rather than drinking it.

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