CAS No. 75-09-2
Methylene chloride (CH2Cl2) is a colorless liquid that can harm the eyes, skin, liver, and heart. Exposure can cause drowsiness, dizziness, numbness and tingling limbs, and nausea. It may cause cancer. Severe exposure can cause loss of consciousness and death. Workers may be harmed from exposure to methylene chloride. The level of exposure depends upon the dose, duration, and work being done.
Methylene chloride is used in many industries. It is used in paint removing, degreasing and cleaning, and manufacturing Some examples of workers at risk of being exposed to methylene chloride include the following:
- Bathtub refinishers exposed to glazing fumes
- Workers who use paint stripping products
- Factories workers involved in metal cleaning and degreasing
- Employees who work in pharmaceutical manufacturing
NIOSH recommends that employers use Hierarchy of Controls to prevent injuries. If you work in an industry that uses methylene chloride, please read chemical labels and the accompanying Safety Data Sheet for hazard information. Visit NIOSH’s page on Managing Chemical Safety in the Workplace to learn more about controlling chemical workplace exposures.
The following resources provide information about occupational exposure to methylene chloride. Useful search terms for methylene chloride include “dichloromethane,” “methylene dichloride,” and “DCM.”
The NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards (NPG) helps workers, employers, and occupational health professionals recognize and control workplace chemical hazards.
The NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods (NMAM) is a collection of methods for sampling and analysis of contaminants in workplace air, and in the blood and urine of workers who are occupationally exposed.
- NIOSHTIC-2 search results on methylene chloride—NIOSHTIC-2 is a searchable database of worker safety and health publications, documents, grant reports, and journal articles supported in whole or in part by NIOSH.
- Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health Concentrations (IDLH) of Methylene Chloride—NIOSH reviews relevant scientific data and researches methods for developing IDLH values.
- NIOSH Worker Health Study Summaries—NIOSH conducts research to prevent illnesses and injuries in the workplace. The NIOSH Worker Notification Program notifies workers and other stakeholders about the findings of these research studies.
- Criteria for a Recommended Occupational Exposure Standard for Methylene Chloride—DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 76-138. This report increases awareness and recommends work practices to reduce exposures.
- OSHA/NIOSH Hazard Alert: Methylene Chloride Hazards for Bathtub Refinishers—DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2013-110
- NIOSH Current Intelligence Bulletin 46: Methylene Chloride—DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 86-114
- Questions and Answers: Methylene Chloride Control in Furniture Stripping—DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 93-133
- Sampling and Measurement for Methylene Chloride 1005—Sampling and measurement, NMAM, fourth edition
- Volatile Organic Compounds (Screening) 2549—Sampling and measurement, NMAM, fourth edition
- ATSDR ToxFAQs for Methylene Chloride
- ATSDR Toxicological Profile for Methylene Chloride
- EPA Acute Exposure Guideline Levels (AEGLs): Methylene Chlorideexternal icon
- EPA Chemistry Dashboard: Dichloromethaneexternal icon
- EPA Fact Sheet: Methylene Chloride or Dichloromethane (DCM)external icon
- EPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)): Dichloromethaneexternal icon
- NLM Haz-Map: Methylene Chlorideexternal icon
- NLM TOXNET: Methylene Chlorideexternal icon
- NTP Report on Carcinogens (Fourteenth Edition): Dichloromethaneexternal icon
- NTP Testing Status of Methylene Chloride 10030-Hexternal icon
- OSHA Hazard Communicationexternal icon
- OSHA Publication: Methylene Chlorideexternal icon
- OSHA Safety and Health Topics: Methylene Chlorideexternal icon
- OSHA Standard 1910.1052: Methylene Chlorideexternal icon
- RAIS Toxicity Profile: Methylene Chlorideexternal icon
- New Jersey Hazardous Substance Fact Sheets: Methylene Chlorideexternal icon
- Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS): Methylene Chlorideexternal icon
- European Chemical Agency (ECHA): Methylene Chlorideexternal icon
- Gestis Substance Databaseexternal icon
- International Chemical Safety Card: Dichloromethaneexternal icon
- IPCS INCHEM Environmental Health Criteria 32: Methylene Chlorideexternal icon
- IPCS INCHEM Environmental Health Criteria 164: Methylene Chlorideexternal icon
- IPCS INCHEM Health and Safety Guide 6: Methylene Chlorideexternal icon
- IPCS INCHEM Poisons Information Monograph 343: Methylene Chlorideexternal icon
- OECD Global Portal to Information on Chemical Substancesexternal icon
- WHO IARC Monograph for Dichloromethane, Methylene Chloride (DCM)external icon
- WHO IARC Monograph for Dichloromethaneexternal icon