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The EPA has listed methylene chloride as a probable human carcinogen, so it is important to minimize exposure to this solvent. Steve Froelicher Ph.D. , Senior Chemist at Prism Analytical Technologies, Inc., has prepared a short and informative post to help us all find and reduce methylene chloride sources in our homes and offices.
Methylene Chloride in Indoor Air
Methylene chloride (CAS 75-09-2) is a solvent commonly found in indoor air VOC reports. The EPA has listed methylene chloride as a probable human carcinogen, so it is important to minimize exposure to this solvent. The use of methylene chloride in consumer products has been reduced in recent years in favor of less toxic solvents.
A glance at the NIH Household Products Database entry for methylene chloride (http://householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/household/brands?tbl=chem&id=118) shows that the majority of products using methylene chloride as a solvent are for outdoor usage, such as automotive products, degreasers, and pesticides. However, paint strippers, varnish removers, and adhesive removers are used primarily indoors and contain large quantities of this solvent. Consumers must be cautious to have adequate ventilation when using these products and to provide continued ventilation in the general area until the vapors have subsided.
Garage usage of the automotive products and degreasers should be minimized because VOCs from the garage can infiltrate the home through unsealed dry wall and through the entry way door to the home. Contaminated clothing can also be a source of entry into the indoor air. Products containing methylene chloride should be stored in tightly sealed secondary containers to minimize vapor diffusion.
Biosweep of Alabama is proud to offer the Prism Analytical Technologies “IAQ Home Survey test.”
Find out what’s in your home air.
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