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Fatalities due to dichloromethane in paint strippers: a continuing problem.
MacIsaac J; Harrison R; Krishnaswami J; McNary J; Suchard J; Boysen-Osborn M; Cierpich H; Styles L; Shusterman D
Am J Ind Med 2013 Aug; 56(8):907-910
Background: Exposure to dichloromethane (DCM or methylene chloride - CH2Cl2) in paint strippers continues to be an avoidable source of morbidity and mortality. DCM has been under regulatory scrutiny by occupational and consumer product agencies since the identification of its carcinogenicity in the mid-1980s. Methods: We investigated two independent workplace incidents that resulted in three cases of DCM intoxication from paint stripper use. Results: Each incident investigated resulted in a fatality. A third worker suffered obtundation requiring hospitalization and intubation. Conclusions: The continued occurrence of fatalities and other serious injuries due to DCM-containing paint strippers in the United States calls for a re-evaluation of existing regulatory strategies.
Employee-exposure; Methanes; Methyl-compounds; Chlorides; Paint-removers; Paints; Morbidity-rates; Mortality-rates; Carcinogens; Carcinogenicity; Workplace-studies; Intoxication; Case-studies; Regulations; Hazardous-materials; Toxic-materials; Chemical-properties; Confined-spaces; Solvents; Author Keywords: dichloromethane; methylene chloride; paint stripper; fatality; chlorinated solvent; asphyxia; confined space
Dennis Shusterman, MD, MPH, California Department of Public Health, Occupational Health Branch, 850 Marina Bay Parkway, Building P, 3rd Floor, Richmond, CA 94804-6403
Cooperative Agreement; Grant
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-907284; B20130805; Grant-Number-T42-OH-008429; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008468
Issue of Publication
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Public Health Institute
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division