A Bathtub Refinisher Dies from Methylene Chloride Exposure While Removing Paint from a Bathtub
California Case Report: 17CA002
Release Date: March 20, 2018
A bathtub refinisher, working alone in a small apartment bathroom, died of methylene chloride exposure while using the chemical to remove paint from a bathtub. The bathroom had a small, open window but no mechanical ventilation. The victim was not wearing any respiratory protection. The victim was the sole employee of a company that specialized in refinishing bathtubs and sinks.
The California Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (CA/FACE) Program concluded that bathtub refinishing contractors should take the following steps to prevent similar incidents:
- Use a safer paint removal product such those containing benzyl alcohol, dimethylglutarate, or dimethyl adipate. Avoid using products that contain methylene chloride or n-methyl pyrrolidone (NMP).
- If a methylene chloride-containing paint remover is used, it should only be done in a well-ventilated bathroom, using an airline respirator and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) or Silvershield® gloves.