Toxic Paint Removers: Safer Alternatives Methylene Chloride Hazards

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Summary Statement

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 that is used in paint strippers, and you can easily find these products on the shelves of your local hardware or paint stores. This video explains the events that led to a near-death incident involving a painter who was overcome by methylene chloride vapors; the hazards of using methylene chloride; and safer alternatives that are available to remove paint. CDPH encourages painting contractors to include this video as part of a comprehensive safety training program. The video was produced by the California Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) program ( within the Occupational Health Branch of the California Department of Public Health. To order a copy of the video, call 510-620-5757, or email
Feb 18, 2016

Painters, refinishers and furniture strippers
California Department of Public Health