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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 investigated two incidents in California in which workers died after using paint strippers containing methylene chloride.

OHB poster in a hardware store     

     OHB recommends the following to keep workers safe:

            • Become familiar with the risks of methylene chloride in paint strippers
            • Use less toxic alternatives; and
            • Use effective personal protective equipment and an exhaust ventilation system (not just a fan).

 Photo: OHB poster in a hardware store

Digital Stories

Fatality and hazard alerts

Safety materials

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

Last modified on: 2/23/2016 2:40 PM