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Is Methylene Chloride dangerous?

  1. Dec 25, 2015 #1
    I accidently dropped a vial of it, thus inhaling some of it. My friend told me it can cause cancer. Should I be worried?
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  3. Dec 25, 2015 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    You should Google "Methylene Chloride MSDS", and read one of the MSDS's that come up. And yes, it can cause cancer. What are you going to do about it now? You can't unbreathe it.
  4. Dec 25, 2015 #3
    Not much I guess, thanks though.
  5. Dec 25, 2015 #4


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    Was this at work? Or at a school lab? In general you need to report this accident to your supervisor, and find out if you should see a doctor about it.
  6. Dec 25, 2015 #5


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    Gloves, goggles, fume-hood!
  7. Dec 26, 2015 #6


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    In general, you should familiarize yourself with the safety of such substances (e.g. read their MSDS) before you begin working with them.
  8. Dec 27, 2015 #7


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    I recently did a lab ventilation safety study for a major pharma company: methylene chloride was the most hazardous "normal" chemical they were using in their labs. Per their standards it should only be used in a fume hood.
  9. Dec 29, 2015 #8


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    While methylene chloride is a proven cancerogenic, its effect were only observed in workers being exposed to its vapours for many years. So maybe you could compare your risk to that of a person who smoked one cigarrette in his life as compared to a heavy smoker.
  10. Dec 31, 2015 #9
    You are unlikely to the extreme to get cancer from single exposure to methylene chloride.
    Inhaling it daily for years to the point where you feel affected would make these odds significant.
    Methylene chloride is main component of many paint strippers and lay workers carelessly working with these are not facing cancer epidemics.
    On the other hand MSDS is document meant more to cover corporate legal ass than provide you with useful information.
    Saying all that I would not work with methylene chloride recklessly.
    It can cause skin irritation, allergic skin reactions with ulcerations, can affect liver and yes, after decades of exposure there is a slightly higher than normal risk of certain cancers.
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