Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content

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

Logo of NIOSH Pocket Guide

NIOSH Pocket Guide

The NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards (NPG) helps workers, employers, and occupational health professionals recognize and control workplace chemical hazards.

Logo of Manual of Analytical Methods.

Manual of Analytical Methods

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.

Logo of Health Hazard Evaluations consisting of three letters: HHE

Health Hazard Evaluations

The Health Hazard Evaluation Program (HHE) conducts onsite investigations of possible worker exposure to chemicals. Search the HHE database for more information on methylene chloride.

Related NIOSH Resources

Selected Publications

Related Resources

International Resources

TOP