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.”
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.
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.
- 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 Chloride
- EPA Chemistry Dashboard: Dichloromethane
- EPA Fact Sheet: Methylene Chloride or Dichloromethane (DCM)
- EPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)): Dichloromethane
- NLM Haz-Map: Methylene Chloride
- NLM TOXNET: Methylene Chloride
- NTP Report on Carcinogens (Fourteenth Edition): Dichloromethane
- NTP Testing Status of Methylene Chloride 10030-H
- OSHA Hazard Communication
- OSHA Publication: Methylene Chloride
- OSHA Safety and Health Topics: Methylene Chloride
- OSHA Standard 1910.1052: Methylene Chloride
- RAIS Toxicity Profile: Methylene Chloride
- New Jersey Hazardous Substance Fact Sheets: Methylene Chloride
- Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS): Methylene Chloride
- European Chemical Agency (ECHA): Methylene Chloride
- Gestis Substance Database
- International Chemical Safety Card: Dichloromethane
- IPCS INCHEM Environmental Health Criteria 32: Methylene Chloride
- IPCS INCHEM Environmental Health Criteria 164: Methylene Chloride
- IPCS INCHEM Health and Safety Guide 6: Methylene Chloride
- IPCS INCHEM Poisons Information Monograph 343: Methylene Chloride
- OECD Global Portal to Information on Chemical Substances
- WHO IARC Monograph for Dichloromethane, Methylene Chloride (DCM)
- WHO IARC Monograph for Dichloromethane
- Page last reviewed: November 2, 2018
- Page last updated: November 2, 2018
- Content source:
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division