Health & Medical

Deaths From Paint Stripping Chemical substances Are on the Upward push

By Steven Reinberg

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, April 21, 2021 (HealthDay News) — A deadly chemical in paint strippers continues to assassinate staff despite its identified dangers, a brand contemporary survey finds.

The chemical methylene chloride, additionally called dichloromethane (DCM), is a solvent present off in paint strippers, cleaners, degreasers, adhesives and sealants. When inhaled, it produces substantial portions of carbon monoxide that would possibly perchance well lower off oxygen to the coronary heart. At excessive doses, it switches off the brain’s respiratory center. Loss of life can occur interior minutes.

“It will create you feel dizzy, nauseous and at last, you can also change into unconscious and die, on story of what it does is deprive your body of oxygen,” said senior researcher Veena Singla, a senior scientist at the Natural Sources Defense Council in San Francisco.

“In a exiguous, enclosed location like a lavatory, the vapors can acquire to unhealthy ranges interior 10 minutes,” she said. “It is additionally unsafe future. It is some distance a identified cancer-inflicting chemical, and it would possibly perchance perchance well additionally motive liver and kidney ruin.”


Methylene chloride is a stable solvent factual for dissolving paint and adhesives swiftly. Though it has been banned in client merchandise, it is level-headed broken-down in expert paint strippers.

Per Singla, the alternate has resisted banning the chemical and claims that deaths linked to it are the consequence of no longer utilizing loyal protective tools.

“Yet every other reason why the chemical is so deadly is that the tools it is advisable to give protection to your self from it is some distance terribly if truth be told expert and never readily on hand to many people,” she said.

Usual latex gloves don’t defend you from methylene chloride. The chemical can undergo these gloves and level-headed ranking absorbed into the pores and skin. Furthermore, the masks former as mud shields don’t defend in opposition to the chemical’s fumes, Singla said.

Even respirators with a cartridge filter need to no longer effective in opposition to this chemical, she said.

Though the U.S. Environmental Security Company (EPA) banned methylene chloride in client paint strippers, it is level-headed in some merchandise that patrons can lift, she said.

“Folk would possibly perchance well also level-headed are attempting to handbook clear of methylene chloride in any merchandise and check for passe paint strippers at dwelling,” Singla said.


Singla, who labored on the survey whereas at the University of California, San Francisco, said the chemical desires to be banned.

“This chemical is apt too dangerous and unsafe to be broken-down safely, and we in actuality need to switch to safer that you just would be in a position to also take into consideration choices,” she said. “That’s already been performed in various areas. The European Union has already received rid of methylene chloride and transitioned to safer that you just would be in a position to also take into consideration choices, and we would possibly perchance well also end further deaths if we did that too.”

For the survey, Singla and colleagues reviewed deaths linked to methylene chloride between 1980 and 2018.

Correct by that time, 85 folks within the United States died from exposure to the chemical. Of these deaths, 74 had been work-linked.

Paint strippers had been the most frequent merchandise concerned. The amount of labor-linked deaths from paint stripping rose from 22 (55%) ahead of 2000 to 30 (88%) after 2000, the survey learned.

Furthermore, deaths from bathtub or paint stripping in bogs rose from 2 (5%) ahead of 2000 to 21 (62%) after 2000.


Between 1985 and 2017, the American Affiliation of Poison Control Companies and products reported greater than 37,000 nonfatal methylene chloride cases.

The annual quantity of reported nonfatal cases peaked at 1,701 in 1995, in accordance to the survey, then started to plunge. Instances then plateaued at about 408 a yr between 2010 and 2017, including about 73 within the office.

Liz Hitchcock, director of the lobbying community Safer Chemical substances Healthy Households, reviewed the survey and said it confirms what the general public and EPA dangle identified for a extremely very long time.

“Methylene chloride in paint strippers can assassinate and has killed folks within the office,” she said.

Per Hitchcock, the EPA checked out 53 makes utilize of of methylene chloride and learned 47 of them posed an unreasonable chance to the general public. “To permit them to even level-headed indubitably ban it,” she said.

The EPA moved away from banning the chemical for the length of the Trump administration, Hitchcock said. She hopes, nonetheless, this would possibly perchance perchance well switch ahead with a ban for the length of the Biden presidency.

“This paper reveals us as soon as more that utilize of this chemical poses an unacceptable chance, and it is too unsafe to be broken-down,” Hitchcock said.


The findings had been published online April 19 within the journal JAMA Within Medication.

More data

For more on methylene chloride, race to Safer Chemical substances Healthy Households.

SOURCES: Veena Singla, PhD, senior scientist, Natural Sources Defense Council, San Francisco; Liz Hitchcock, director, Safer Chemical substances Healthy Households, Washington, D.C.; JAMA Within Medication, April 19, 2021, online

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