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MPCA awarded the 2018 Green Chemistry & Engineering Summer Internship Grant to remooble, a 2017 start-up company based in Maple Grove that develops safe and effective paint, ink and adhesive removers for retail sale.
Commercial paint removers contain high amounts of methylene chloride, a toxic solvent that causes cancer and has suffocated dozens of workers and others using it in poorly ventilated areas. Alternatives may contain other toxic solvents such as n-methyl pyrrolidone (NMP), a reproductive toxin known for causing infertility and reproductive harm. Recently, major retailers have decided to stop selling paint removers that contain methylene chloride and NMP.
To meet this new need for safer alternatives, remooble used the $10,000 grant to hire Abigail Giarrosso, a graduate student from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell to help their team develop novel paint remover blends and test their performance and safety. The new paint removers are largely bio-derived, using various bio-sourced raw materials.