EPA Releases Final Risk Evaluation for Methylene Chloride and the Need to Protect Workers in Puerto Rico from Exposure Risks
Zimmetry Environmental provides testing and consulting services to identify and mitigate exposures to methylene chloride and other chemical hazards throughout the Caribbean.
Bayamon, Puerto Rico, June 29th, 2020 -- Earlier this month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its Final Risk Evaluation for Methylene Chloride. The evaluation was completed as part of the agency’s mission to protect human health and the environment under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
The document contains the EPA’s final determinations on which conditions of use present unreasonable risks to human health or the environment based on a review of the scientific data. To prepare the final risk evaluation, the agency reviewed scientific literature, conducted modeling and other risk assessment activities, and collected toxicity, exposure and hazard information.
EPA found unreasonable risks to human health from 47 out of 53 conditions of use of methylene chloride.
- Consumers: The agency found unreasonable risks to consumers from all consumer uses of methylene chloride. Common consumer uses include aerosol degreasers/cleaners, adhesives/sealants, paint brush cleaners, lubricants, arts and crafts glue, and automobile care products like air conditioner fluids. Risks to consumers can come from short-term inhalation and dermal exposure.
Workers and Occupational Non-Users: EPA found unreasonable risks to workers from most commercial uses of methylene chloride. Additionally, EPA found unreasonable risks from most commercial uses of this chemical to workers nearby, but not in direct contact with methylene chloride (known as occupational non-users). Common commercial uses include solvents for vapor degreasing, aerosol spray cleaners, adhesives, paint/coating remover, and automotive care products. Risks to workers and occupational non-users can come from both short- and long-term inhalation and dermal exposure.
“Methylene chloride, also known as dichloromethane, is a volatile, colorless liquid with a chloroform-like odor,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental. “People exposed to this chemical are at risk of a variety of health concerns. At high enough concentrations it can cause a person to stop breathing and the World Health Organization has determined that it may cause cancer in humans. Exposure to lower levels may result in dizziness, fatigue, headaches and nausea to name a few concerns.”
In addition to the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and implementing engineering controls in industries that use this chemical, air monitoring is essential for ensuring the health and safety of workers. To achieve this, the industrial hygiene and environmental professionals at Zimmetry offer testing and monitoring services for methylene chloride and other potentially hazardous chemicals for clients in Puerto Rico and across the Caribbean. Several years ago, they also sponsored an educational video about methylene chloride and occupational exposure concerns that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/SDGduHBfEQw
To learn more about Zimmetry Environmental and their industrial hygiene, environmental, air quality, compliance and consulting services, please visit www.zimmetry.com, call (787) 995.0005 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Zimmetry Environmental
Since 2002, Zimmetry Environmental has been providing environmental consulting services to building owners and managers, architects, engineers, EHS professionals and Fortune 500 companies. The company is based in Puerto Rico and provides services across the Caribbean and Central America. The professionals at Zimmetry offer environmental compliance, indoor air quality, asbestos, lead-based paint, Phase I ESAs and general environmental consulting services.