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Chemical Sampling Information (CSI)
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General Description

Synonyms: Methylene dichloride; Dichloromethane

OSHA IMIS Code Number: 1730

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 75-09-2

NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: PA8050000

Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and 2012 Emergency Response Guidebook [4 MB PDF, 392 pages]: 1593 160

NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards - Methylene Chloride: Chemical description, physical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Hazard Summary - Methylene Chloride: Uses, sources and potential exposure, acute and chronic health hazard information, and more

Exposure Limits and Health Effects

Exposure Limit

Limit Values

HE Codes

Health Factors and Target Organs

OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (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)

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL)
See Appendix A 

Lowest feasible concentration

Ca

HE1

Cancer

American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV) (2001)
(Listed under dichloromethane)

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

 

 

National Toxicology Program (NTP) carcinogenic classification: Reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen [15 MB PDF, 507 pages]

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) carcinogenic classification: Group 2B [380 KB PDF, 171 pages] (possibly carcinogenic to humans)

EPA carcinogenic classification: Likely to be carcinogenic to humans

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

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) Inhalation Minimal Risk Levels (MRLs): 0.6 ppm (acute); 0.3 ppm (intermediate); 0.3 ppm (chronic)

NIOSH Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (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.

Date Last Revised: 12/11/2012

Literature Basis:


Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method:

  • sampling media: Carbosieve S-III Tube (130/65 mg sections, 60/80 mesh)
    analytical solvent: (99:1) Carbon Disulfide/Dimethylformamide
    maximum volume: 3 Liters
    maximum flow rate: 0.05 L/min (TWA)
    minimum time: 5 Minutes
    maximum flow rate: 0.05 L/min (Ceiling or STEL)
    minimum time: 5 Minutes
    maximum flow rate: 0.05 L/min (Peak)
    current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/FID
    method reference: OSHA Analytical Methods (OSHA 80)
    method classification: Fully Validated

  • sampling media: Charcoal Tube (350/350/350 mg sections, 20/40 mesh)
    analytical solvent: Carbon Disulfide
    alternative solvent: (99:1) Carbon Disulfide/Dimethylformamide
    maximum volume: 10 Liters
    maximum flow rate: 0.05 L/min (TWA)
    minimum time: 5 Minutes  
    maximum flow rate: 0.05 L/min (Ceiling or STEL)
    minimum time: 5 Minutes
    maximum flow rate: 0.05 L/min (Peak)
    minimum time: 5 Minutes
    maximum flow rate: 0.05 L/min (Peak)
    current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/FID
    method reference: OSHA Analytical Methods (OSHA 59)
    method classification: Fully Validated

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