IRSST - Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail

Dichloromethane Substitution


Several thousand workers in Québec are regularly exposed to dichloromethane (DCM) or methylene chloride. This chemical compound is used in paint removers, in degreasing agents, as a solvent in the synthesis of pharmaceuticals, and as an extraction solvent. Inhalation of DCM depresses the central nervous system, and in high concentrations causes respiratory depression, which can lead to death. DCM is also a solvent classified as probably carcinogenic to humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

The research team will publish a monograph on DCM substitution for occupational health practitioners, occupational physicians and other occupational health and safety specialists. Recommendations will be made on replacement alternatives to DCM by industry sector and type of application.

The monograph will also be published on the Solub website. This site helps occupational health and safety professionals who carry out solvent substitution projects in the workplace.