Preventing Worker Deaths from Paint Strippers Containing Methylene Chloride
Methylene chloride (dichloromethane) is a widely used solvent that can cause serious illness or death when used in enclosed spaces. It is a cancer-causing chemical used in paint strippers, in the production of polymer foams and as a degreaser.
The Occupational Health Branch has investigated two incidents in California in which workers died after using paint strippers containing methylene chloride.
A survey of hardware stores in the San Francisco Bay Area suggests that many consumers may not be aware that safer alternatives to methylene-chloride-containing paint strippers are available.
OHB is sharing fatality investigation results, informational materials and other resources on methylene chloride to help employers, workers and consumers better understand the hazards and choose safer alternatives wherever possible.
Photo: Bottom of a paint tank where a worker died
Fact sheets and other information
Additional Information about Methylene Chloride
Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation Program (FACE)
Occupational Health Surveillance and Evaluation Program (OHSEP)
Hazard Evaluation System & Information Service (HESIS)
Occupational Health Branch