Methylene Chloride

Courtesy of CA Dept. of Public Health/OSHA.  Workplace deaths have occured due to inhaling dangerous amounts of methylene chloride(MC) during bathtub refinishing. Consider other proven work methods like sanding or use of MC-free products.
Courtesy of CA Dept. of Public Health/OSHA

Workplace deaths have occured (97 KB PDF) due to inhaling dangerous amounts of methylene chloride(MC) during bathtub refinishing. Consider  other proven work methods like sanding (224 KB PDF) or use of MC-free products. (100 KB PDF)

Methylene chloride-based products can make the job go easier and faster, but can also kill workers when proper safety precautions aren’t known and followed.

Methylene chloride (also called dichloromethane) is a solvent that is often used:

  • In metal cleaning and degreasing
  • In propellant mixtures for aerosol containers
  • To manufacture plastic, adhesives, polyurethane foam, and pharmaceuticals
  • To strip paint, varnish, and other coatings

Exposure to methylene chloride can cause a variety of health issues such as dizziness and headaches, severe eye and skin irritation, and heart damage. Studies suggest exposures at work may increase risk for certain types of cancer (112 KB PDF) .

Information provided in this topic page can help employers and employees identify and evaluate existing or potential hazards. It also provides resources to help with training, prevention methods, and the development and implementation of required written safety & health programs.

Related Topics

More help from L&I


For general information, call 1-800-423-7233.

End of main content, page footer follows.

Access Washington official state portal

  © Washington State Dept. of Labor & Industries. Use of this site is subject to the laws of the state of Washington.

Help us improve