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Methylene Chloride

General Description

Synonyms: Methylene dichloride; Dichloromethane

OSHA IMIS code: 1730

CAS number: 75-09-2

Exposure Limits and Health Effects (Updated September 6, 2012)

Standard Set By Exposure Limit Health Effect Codes -- Health Effects and Target Organs
OSHA PEL - General Industry
See 29 CFR 1910.1052
25 ppm TWA
125 ppm STEL
12.5 ppm Action Level
HE1 -- cancer
HE3 -- cardiac and liver toxicity 
HE7 -- lightheadedness, staggering, unconsciousness, decreased eye/hand coordination, numbness of the extremities
HE8 -- central nervous system effects/narcosis
HE14 -- eyes, nose, throat, skin irritation
HE17 -- chemical anoxia (metabolic conversion to CO)
OSHA PEL - Construction Industry
See 29 CFR 1926.1152
25 ppm TWA
125 ppm STEL
12.5 ppm Action Level
HE1 -- cancer
HE3 -- cardiac and liver toxicity 
HE7 -- lightheadedness, staggering, unconsciousness, decreased eye/hand coordination, numbness of the extremities
HE8 -- central nervous system effects/narcosis
HE14 -- eyes, nose, throat, skin irritation
HE17 -- chemical anoxia (metabolic conversion to CO)
OSHA PEL - Shipyard Employment
See 29 CFR 1915.1052
25 ppm TWA
125 ppm STEL
12.5 ppm Action Level
HE1 -- cancer
HE3 -- cardiac and liver toxicity 
HE7 -- lightheadedness, staggering, unconsciousness, decreased eye/hand coordination, numbness of the extremities
HE8 -- central nervous system effects/narcosis
HE14 -- eyes, nose, throat, skin irritation
HE17 -- chemical anoxia (metabolic conversion to CO)
NIOSH REL Lowest feasible concentration
Ca
See Appendix A
HE1 -- cancer
ACGIH TLV® (1997) 50 ppm (174 mg/m3) TWA
A3
BEI®
HE4 -- cardiovascular changes
HE7 -- neurological effects (headache, dizziness, loss of balance, memory difficulties, numbness in hands or feet)
HE8 -- central nervous system effects (narcosis)
HE17 -- asphyxiant, anoxiant
CAL/OSHA PELs
See Section 5202
25 ppm (87 mg/m3) TWA
125 ppm (435 mg/m3) STEL
 

Carcinogenic classification:

EPA Inhalation Reference Concentration (RfC): 0.6 mg/m3

ATSDR Inhalation Minimal Risk Levels (MRLs): 0.6 ppm (acute); 0.3 ppm (intermediate); 0.3 ppm (chronic)

NIOSH IDLH concentration: 2,300 ppm

Notes on other potential health effects and hazards:

  1. Combustible under specific conditions. Gives off irritating or toxic fumes (or gases) in a fire (NIOSH/IPCS 1994).
  2. Case studies of methylene chloride poisoning during paint-stripping operations have demonstrated that inhalation exposure can be fatal to humans (ATSDR 2000).
  3. Thirteen deaths of bathtub refinisher fatalities associated with methylene chloride stripping agents have occurred during 2000-2011. Each death occurred in a residential bathroom with inadequate ventilation (CDC 2012).
  4. NTP concluded that methylene chloride administered by inhalation caused liver, lung, and breast tumors, which was sufficient evidence to classify methylene chloride as reasonably anticipated to cause cancer.
  5. The EPA reference concentration was established based on liver effects in a laboratory inhalation study in rats.

Partial reference list:

Chemical Sampling Information

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