Dichloromethane Safety Data Sheet: An Overview
Dichloromethane Safety Data Sheet

Since 1980, Dichloromethane has been linked to 64 fatalities due to acute exposure. This is a stark reminder of the potential hazards lurking in workplaces that rely on this widely used chemical.

Dichloromethane, a solvent found in everything from pharmaceutical production to paint removal, embodies a paradox. While indispensable for its effectiveness, it poses significant risks if not handled with utmost care. 

The Dichloromethane safety data sheet serves to navigate the complexities of safely managing this chemical. This document contains essential details for safe handling, emergency response, and storage practices. 

Are you ready to implement that culture in your workplace? Continue reading below to start.

Dichloromethane: Properties and Uses

Dichloromethane, known scientifically as methylene chloride, stands out for its exceptional ability to dissolve other substances. This clear, slightly sweet-smelling liquid is a staple in various industries due to its versatile applications.

It’s particularly valued in the pharmaceutical field for its role in drug manufacturing, as it helps extract and purify vital ingredients. Its non-flammable nature also makes it a preferred choice in settings where fire safety is a concern.

Dichloromethane is also instrumental in producing plastics and resins. Its solvent properties facilitate the creation of high-quality materials.

The chemical is equally useful in the world of paint removal and cleaning. It has the capability to efficiently strip away unwanted layers without the risk of fire.

The same properties that make it invaluable also necessitate strict safety measures. Knowledge of how and where it’s used guides the implementation of proper ventilation, protective equipment, and safe storage practices. 

Chemical Safety with the Dichloromethane Safety Data Sheet

An SDS is a detailed document that provides critical information about the properties of a chemical and health and safety hazards. It can tell you how to:

  • Handle
  • Store
  • Respond to emergencies involving the chemical

Let’s break down what you will find on Dichloromethane safety data sheets.


This section introduces Dichloromethane, including its chemical name and recommended uses. It also provides essential contact information for the supplier for quick reference in emergencies.

As mentioned above, it is a volatile, colorless liquid with a sweetish odor, primarily used as a solvent in various industrial applications.

Hazard Identification

Dichloromethane is classified as a potential carcinogen and can pose significant health risks upon:

  • Inhalation
  • Skin contact
  • Ingestion

It is particularly hazardous because of its ability to cause:

The SDS would typically feature signal words like “Danger” and hazard pictograms to indicate these risks.

Composition/Information on Ingredients

The SDS reveals that Dichloromethane is a halogenated hydrocarbon, with the chemical formula CH2Cl2. It might also list impurities or other types of chemicals, but DCM is usually the primary component.

First-Aid Measures

For inhalation, move the person to fresh air and seek medical attention if symptoms persist. In case of skin contact, wash thoroughly with soap and water. If DCM is ingested, do not induce vomiting; get medical help immediately.

Fire-Fighting Measures

Although Dichloromethane is non-flammable, it can decompose under fire conditions to form hazardous gases like hydrogen chloride and carbon monoxide. Firefighters should use appropriate protective equipment and extinguishing methods suitable for the surrounding fire.

Accidental Release Measures

In the event of a spill, ventilate the area and avoid breathing vapors. Use personal protective equipment to contain and clean up the spill, preventing environmental contamination and potential health hazards.

Handling and Storage

Handling recommendations emphasize:

  • Avoiding inhalation and contact with skin or eyes
  • Using in a well-ventilated area
  • Wearing appropriate PPE

For storage, Dichloromethane should be kept in a cool, well-ventilated place, away from incompatible materials like strong bases and oxidizers.

Exposure Controls/Personal Protection

Engineering controls should include adequate ventilation or local exhaust to maintain airborne levels below recommended exposure limits. Personal protective equipment (PPE) should include:

  • Respirators
  • Chemical-resistant gloves
  • Safety goggles to protect against inhalation and skin or eye contact

Physical and Chemical Properties

Dichloromethane has a boiling point of 39.6°C, a melting point of -96.7°C, and a vapor pressure of 473 mmHg at 20°C, indicating high volatility. It’s slightly soluble in water but miscible with most organic solvents.

Stability and Reactivity

DCM is stable under recommended storage conditions but can generate corrosive and toxic gases when heated. It should be kept away from heat, sparks, open flames, and strong oxidizing agents.

Toxicological Information

Exposure to Dichloromethane can lead to central nervous system depression, liver and lung damage, and potentially cancer. The toxicological effects underscore the importance of adhering to safety guidelines detailed in the SDS.

Implementing Best Practices for Dichloromethane Safety

Implementing best practices for Dichloromethane safety is essential to mitigate the risks associated with this potent chemical. 

Here are targeted recommendations for managing Dichloromethane safely in the workplace.

Handling Best Practices

Always handle Dichloromethane in well-ventilated spaces to prevent vapor accumulation. If necessary, use local exhaust ventilation to capture vapors at their source.

Equip yourself with chemical-resistant gloves, safety goggles, and protective clothing. For operations where vapor exposure is likely, use a NIOSH-approved respirator.

Avoid direct contact with the skin and eyes by using PPE. In case of contact, flush the affected area with plenty of water and seek medical advice if irritation persists.

Storage Best Practices

Dichloromethane should be kept in tightly closed containers in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area, away from heat sources and direct sunlight.

Store Dichloromethane away from oxidizing agents, bases, and any source of heat or ignition to prevent hazardous reactions. Properly label all containers with the chemical name, hazard warnings, and storage instructions to avoid accidental mishandling.

Disposal Best Practices

Dispose of Dichloromethane and its containers in accordance with local, state, and federal regulations. Avoid releasing the chemical into the environment.

Engage certified hazardous waste management services to handle the disposal of Dichloromethane, ensuring that it is carried out safely and responsibly.

Safeguarding Your Future with Safety Data Sheet Expertise

The Dichloromethane safety data sheet underscores its paramount role in ensuring a safe working environment. With the right knowledge, practices, and tools, the risks associated with Dichloromethane can be effectively managed.

For those seeking excellence in SDS management, look no further than KHA Solutions. Awarded ‘Product of the Year’ in the SDS Management category by OH&S Magazine for three consecutive years, KHA’s Online-SDS™ product stands as a testament to our commitment to providing top-tier safety data sheet management solutions.

Schedule a demo with KHA’s award-winning expertise today.