Methylene Chloride Added to Higher Hazard Substances List

Methylene chloride has been added to the Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) list of Higher Hazard Substances. Under the Higher Hazard Substance designation, companies that use 1,000 lbs. or more per year of methylene chloride and have more than 10 full time employees are required to conduct TURA reporting and planning.

 About methylene chloride:

Methylene chloride is an industrial solvent used as a paint stripper and component of some aerosols and pesticides. It is also a component of indoor air pollution due to its use in consumer products including fabric cleaners, furniture polish, auto products, wood finishing products (sealants, stains, varnishes, etc.), paint products (spray paints, paint thinners, strippers and removers), adhesives and adhesive removers, art supplies, and insecticides. According to an analysis of Massachusetts industry carcinogen use/release reporting by Toxics Use Reduction Institute, methylene chloride was the third highest breast carcinogen used and the highest breast carcinogen released by MA industries in 2013.

Existing classifications:

The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies methylene chloride as possibly carcinogenic to humans with sufficient evidence in animals at multiple tumor sites but inadequate evidence in humans. Similarly, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lists methylene chloride as probably carcinogenic to humans and the U.S. National Toxicology Program’s 12th Report on Carcinogens lists it as a reasonably anticipated human carcinogen citing clear evidence of carcinogenicity in mice and rats of both genders.

More Information:

Methylene Chloride in Silent Spring Institute’s Mammary Carcinogens Database

Toxics Use Reduction Institute’s Fact Sheet on Methylene Chloride


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