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Methylene Chloride

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Methylene Chloride Menu

Hazard Recognition

Methylene chloride is a solvent which is used in many different types of work activities, such as paint stripping, polyurethane foam manufacturing, cleaning, and degreasing. Employees exposed to methylene chloride are at increased risk of developing cancer, adverse effects on the heart, central nervous system and liver, and skin or eye irritation. Exposure may occur through inhalation, by absorption through the skin, or through contact with the skin. The following references aid in recognizing methylene chloride hazards in the workplace.

  • Methylene Chloride. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), (May 1994). Provides an Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDLH) document that includes acute toxicity data for methylene chloride.
  • Methylene Chloride. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication 86-114 (Current Intelligence Bulletin No. 46), (April 1986). Describes a study where mice that were exposed to methylene chloride in air, developed cancers (alveolar/bronchiolar carcinomas) and tumors (alveolar/bronchiolar adenomas) of the lung, and cancers (hepatocellular carcinomas) of the liver.
  • Criteria for a Recommended Standard: Occupational Exposure to Methylene Chloride. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication 76-138, (March 1976). Includes biological effects, exposure, and work practice information for methylene chloride.
  • TOXNET for Dichloromethane. The National Library of Medicine.
  • Report on Carcinogens (RoC). U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Toxicology Program (NTP). Identifies and discusses agents, substances, mixtures, or exposure circumstances that may pose a health hazard due to their carcinogenicity. The listing of substances in the RoC only indicates a potential hazard and does not establish the exposure conditions that would pose cancer risks to individuals.
    • Dichloromethane. NTP classification: Reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen
  • International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks for Humans. World Health Organization (WHO).
    • Dichloromethane. IARC Classification: Possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B).
  • Toxicological Profile for Methylene Chloride. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), (September 2000). Provides exposure risks, exposure limits, and health effects for methylene chloride.
  • ToxFAQs™ for Methylene Chloride. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), (February 2001). Summarizes the properties and health effects for methylene chloride.
  • Dichloromethane (CASRN 75-09-2). Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS). Discusses the health effects of dichloromethane.
  • Methylene Chloride (Dichloromethane). Environmental Protection Agency. Lists methylene chloride as a Hazardous Air Pollutant (HAP) under the National Emissions Standard Hazardous Air Pollutants section of its Clean Air Act.
  • Methylene Chloride. New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, Hazardous Substance Fact Sheet, (Revised October 2008). Provides a summary source of information of all potential and most severe health hazards that may result from methylene chloride exposure.
  • International Chemical Safety Cards: Dichloromethane. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), (December 4, 2000). Summarizes essential health and safety information on methylene chloride.
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