Get the Facts: Methylene Chloride
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Get the Facts: Methylene Chloride

Jun 17, 2023

Methylene chloride, also known as dichloromethane or DCM, is a solvent used in paint strippers and other products. It has been linked to cancer, cognitive impairment, and immediate death by asphyxiation. If you need to remove paint or a coating, make sure to avoid products containing methylene chloride and other toxic chemicals like N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP). For more information, see our list of safer products.

We’re working to convince EPA to ban all methylene chloride-based paint strippers in the U.S.

If you use products with methylene chloride, you may be exposed by inhaling the fumes of the chemical. It’s also possible for this chemical to be absorbed through skin.

Short (“acute”) exposures can cause death by heart attack or asphyxiation.

Long-term (“chronic”) exposures have been linked to:

It is impossible for us to shop our way out of this problem. And we shouldn’t have to. When you walk into a store, you should be able to trust that the products on store shelves are safe.

Companies shouldn’t sell products with dangerous chemicals—especially as scientists continue to learn more about the “silent epidemic” caused by the cumulative impact of all the toxic chemicals we are regularly exposed to. And our state and federal governments shouldn’t allow chemicals on the market until they’re proven safe.

The only way to protect everyone from toxic chemicals like methylene chloride is to change policies at government and corporate levels to make sure that safer solutions are the norm.

We’re fighting every day to protect you and your loved ones from toxic chemicals like this. To join our fight, please consider making a donation, taking action with us, or signing up for our email list.

When fumes from methylene chloride-based paint strippers build up, the chemical can cause asphyxiation and heart attacks. It’s happened to dozens of people, including Kevin Hartley and Joshua Atkins. Not one more family should lose a loved one to these products.

What is methylene chloride?How am I exposed to methylene chloride? Paint StrippersAdhesivesOther ProductsKeep in mindChildrenDeveloping fetusesWorkersHow can I reduce my exposure?What’s the solution?