Skip to main content Homepage

Methylene chloride

Topic index


Methylene chloride (MC) is a colorless liquid that has a sweet odor. It is used as paint and varnish remover, a solvent, and a degreaser. Methylene chloride is dangerous. It can severely burn your skin and eyes. It can also damage your liver, kidneys, and brain. You are exposed when you breathe the vapors or get methylene chloride on your skin. Although it has an odor, you may not be aware of it.

Breathing methylene chloride irritates your nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, and weakness. Severe overexposure can kill you. Bathtub and tile refinishers who use methylene chloride-based products should be especially careful to reduce their exposure and protect themselves.

No items are currently available

No items are currently available

Borrow from the Resource Center

No items are currently available

Watch Online

  • Toxic Paint Removers: Safer Alternatives
    Methylene chloride (dichloromethane) is a widely used solvent that can cause serious illness or death when used in enclosed spaces. The video was produced by the California Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) within the Occupational Health Branch of the California Department of Public Health​.
    English 7:45 minutes  

Additional Resources


Your browser is out-of-date! It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how