Charleston family pushes for ban on chemical that caused man’s death

CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) — A Charleston family is pushing for a ban on a paint stripping chemical that caused the death of 31-year-old Drew Wynne.

Drew was working on the floors of his startup business, Riptide Coffee in North Charleston, when the fumes from methylene chloride overcame him. He was using a product that contained the chemical. He was found dead the next day.

Now, his family is partnering with the Environmental Defense Fund and federal lawmakers to push for a ban on the chemical.

“I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea that something could kill you that quickly. The idea that you can just buy something like that…it’s just impossible to wrap your head around,” said Brian Wynne, Drew’s brother.

South Carolina Congressman Mark Sanford, along with South Carolina US Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, wrote a letter to the environmental protection agency also in support of the ban.

“If a product is being sold that has as much smoke around it as this chemical does in regard to death and injury, then we ought to go the extra mile in taking a step in saying it doesn’t belong there,” Sanford said.

“I think there are unnecessary deaths and tragedies because people are not taking action, and that’s what’s propelling us today,” Cindy Wynne, Drew’s mother, said.

In January 2017, the EPA suggested banning the chemical. However, no official regulation has taken place. Drew died October 3, 2017.

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