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The Workplace Safety and Health Branch has recently dealt with a serious workplace incident involving a product containing the chemical methylene chloride (CAS 75-09-2). Also called dichloromethane (DCM), this chemical is sometimes contained in paint strippers commonly used in furniture and bathtub refinishing and is sold over the counter as a consumer product in retail stores.
Products with DCM when used in small poorly ventilated settings is extremely hazardous, rapidly reaching a dangerous airborne concentration that could lead to asphyxiation.
Employers should consider alternatives for products that include DCM due to the risk posed to the worker's health. If using, it is important to implement feasible engineering controls and provide a supplied air respirator where engineering controls are not feasible or are ineffective.
To prevent worker fatalities when using DCM containing paint stripping products employers must:
Standard Z94.4-11 - Selection, Use and Care of Respirators
2015 Information for Workers
2015 Information for Employers
SAFE Work Manitoba, a division of the WCB, is the public agency dedicated to the prevention of workplace injury and illness.
Working with our partners in the safety community, we provide prevention education, safety programming, consulting and strategic direction to create a genuine culture of safety for all Manitobans.