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 found in the 2020 final risk evaluation
- 2019 consumer ban on paint and coating removal products
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 June 2020, EPA released the final risk evaluation for methylene chloride under amended TSCA. The final risk evaluation for methylene chloride 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 any unreasonable risks to the environment from use of this chemical.
The next step in the process required by TSCA is addressing these risks. There are several actions EPA could take to address these risks, including regulations to prohibit or limit the manufacture, processing, distribution in the marketplace, use, or disposal of this chemical substance, as applicable. EPA is now in 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 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 as EPA works through the risk management process for this chemical. Just like the risk evaluation process, there will also be opportunities for public comment as EPA works to propose and finalize risk management actions for the conditions of use of methylene chloride that EPA has determined present an unreasonable risk.
- 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 held two identical consultation webinars, one on November 16 and the other on November 19, to consult with environmental justice communities on risk management for methylene chloride and 1-BP. View the materials for the webinars.
The deadline for self-nominations for the methylene chloride Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) panel was September 30, 2020. Learn more about the potential SBAR panel.
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 in all paint removers for consumer use. EPA has taken this action because of the acute fatalities that have resulted from exposure to the chemical. 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.
Additionally, EPA solicited public input for a future rulemaking that could establish a training, certification and limited access program for methylene chloride for commercial uses in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2018-0844.