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Assessing and Managing Chemicals under TSCA

Risk Evaluation for Methylene Chloride

EPA evaluated methylene chloride under the amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and completed the final risk evaluation in June 2020. The next step in the process required by TSCA is addressing these risks. EPA will now begin the process of developing ways to address the unreasonable risks identified and has up to one year to propose and take public comments on any risk management actions.

Learn about EPA's ban on consumer sales of MC in paint and coating removal.

Find information about other chemicals undergoing risk evaluations under TSCA

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Background on Methylene Chloride

Methylene chloride, also known as dichloromethane and DCM, is a volatile chemical used in a wide range of industrial, commercial, and consumer applications. Information from the 2016 Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) for methylene chloride indicates the reported production volume is more than 260 million lbs/year (manufacture and import).

Uses of Methylene Chloride

Common uses of methylene chloride are as a solvent in vapor degreasing, metal cleaning, in the production of refrigerant chemicals, and as an ingredient in sealants and adhesive removers. Consumers uses include adhesives, sealants, degreasers, cleaners, and automobile products.

Risk Evaluation of Methylene Chloride under Amended TSCA

In June 2020, EPA released the final risk evaluation for methylene chloride. The final risk evaluation identifies unreasonable risks to workers, occupational non-users, consumers, and bystanders from methylene chloride exposure under 47 out of 53 conditions of use. EPA did not find unreasonable risks to the environment from the evaluated uses of this chemical.

In October 2019, EPA released the draft risk evaluation for methylene chloride for public comment and peer review. 

In June 2017, EPA released the scope document for methylene chloride which included the hazards, exposures, conditions of use, and the potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulations EPA expected to consider in its risk evaluation. In June 2018, EPA released the problem formulation for methylene chloride which refined the scope of the risk evaluation by clarifying the chemical conditions of use that EPA expected to evaluate and describing how EPA expected to conduct the evaluation.

After releasing the scope documents for each of the first 10 chemicals undergoing risk evaluation under TSCA, the dockets for each of these first 10 chemicals were open for public comments. Read EPA’s Responses to Public Comments Received on the Scope Documents for the First Ten Chemicals for Risk Evaluation under TSCA. This document addresses cross-cutting public comments received in response to the scope document.

Review of MC Prior to Amended TSCA

Prior to the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, EPA completed a risk assessment for MC, addressing use in paint and coating removal products, and published the following information: