Risk Management for Methylene Chloride
Below is information on EPA actions to manage risks from methylene chloride and protect public health. Methylene chloride, also known as dichloromethane and DCM, is a volatile chemical used in a wide range of industrial, commercial, and consumer applications like adhesives, sealants, degreasers, cleaners, and automobile products.
On this page:
- Managing risks from methylene chloride
- Opportunities for public and stakeholder engagement
- 2019 regulation addressing consumer paint and coating removal
On other pages:
- Learn how EPA manages unreasonable risks from chemicals currently on the market.
- View a list of all chemicals undergoing risk evaluation, including docket numbers and agency points of contact.
In July 2022, EPA released a draft revised risk determination for methylene chloride which, when final, would amend the 2020 TSCA risk evaluation for methylene chloride. The draft revisions to the risk determination were made in accordance with the path forward for the first 10 risk evaluations under TSCA laid out by EPA in June 2021. The draft revised risk determination is based on methylene chloride as a whole chemical substance and does not assume that all workers exposed to methylene chloride are always provided or appropriately wear personal protective equipment.
In June 2020, EPA released the risk evaluation for methylene chloride under amended TSCA. When assuming the use of PPE, the risk evaluation found unreasonable risks to workers, occupational non-users, consumers, and bystanders from methylene chloride exposure under 47 out of 53 conditions of use.
The next step in the process is for EPA to take public comment on the draft revised risk determination for methylene chloride before releasing a final revised risk determination. The agency will then propose risk management action to address the unreasonable risk methylene chloride presents to health.
There are several actions EPA could take to address the unreasonable risk, including prohibiting or limiting the manufacture, processing, distribution in the marketplace, commercial use, or disposal of this chemical substance, as applicable. EPA is now in the process of developing ways to address the unreasonable risk identified.
- Learn more about the unreasonable risks found in the final risk evaluation.
- Find information on ways to reduce exposure to this chemical as EPA works through the process required by TSCA to reduce or eliminate unreasonable risks from this chemical.
There will be additional opportunities for public and stakeholder engagement--including a public comment period--as EPA works through the risk management process for this chemical.
- View a list of all public and stakeholder engagement opportunities related to risk management.
- You can reach out to the EPA point of contact for this chemical, listed at the top, right of this page, for more information or to schedule a one-on-one meeting.
- You can also stay informed by signing for our email alerts or checking the public docket at EPA-HQ-OPPT-2020-0465 at www.regulations.gov.
Past Meetings, Webinars, and Other Engagement Opportunities
EPA completed the Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) panel for the methylene chloride rulemaking on October 28, 2021. Learn more.
EPA held two identical consultation webinars, one on November 16, 2020 and the other on November 19, 2020 to consult with environmental justice communities on risk management for methylene chloride and 1-BP. View the materials for the webinars.
On September 16, 2020, EPA held a webinar on the TSCA risk managment process and the findings in the final risk evaluation for methylene chloride. View the materials for the webinar.
In March 2019, EPA issued a final rule to prohibit the manufacture (including import), processing, and distribution of methylene chloride for consumer paint and coating removal. EPA has taken this action because of the acute fatalities that have resulted from exposure to the chemical in consumer paint and coating removal. After November 22, 2019, all persons are prohibited from manufacturing (including importing), processing, and distributing in commerce, including distribution to and by retailers, methylene chloride for consumer paint and coating removal. EPA is also requiring manufacturers, processors, and distributors to notify retailers and others in their supply chains of the prohibitions and to keep records.
EPA is encouraging all consumers to stop using methylene chloride products that they may have already purchased for paint and coating removal. Please consult your state and local government solid waste agencies to obtain proper disposal instructions for leftover or unused paint and coating removal products.