Methylene Chloride

Overview

CAS No. 75-09-2

Methylene chloride (CH2Cl2) is a colorless liquid that can harm the eyes, skin, liver, and heart. Exposure can cause dowsiness, 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.”

NIOSH Chemical Resources

Related NIOSH Resources

Selected Publications

Related Resources

International Resources

Page last reviewed: November 2, 2018