In the last ten years, a colorless chemical has caused the deaths of over a dozen people between the ages of 20-60. Methylene chloride is primarily used in the aircraft industry and is often used to strip and refinish bathtubs at home. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has recently seen an increase in deaths by substances with a high concentration of methylene chloride.
In March 2010 a man renovating and stripping his bathroom was found passed out over a bathtub. He was declared dead a few hours later at a local hospital. It was discovered that deadly Methylene Chloride vapor made its way into his lungs.
The concentration of the vapor in the bathroom was over 400 times the safe amount for a man of his height and weight. Since 2000 75% of Methylene Chloride related fatalities were caused during bathtub refinishing projects. Though the chemical had been previously recognized as potentially fatal to furniture strippers and factory workers, it was not considered to cause death when used in household product.
Methylene Chloride is a substance that you spray or paint over your bathtub. After, spraying the tub with these chemicals it starts to bubble up, allowing easy removal of paint. OSHA found over forty-two different products containing 40-90% of Methylene Chloride. Twenty-six Methylene Chloride products are easily available to consumers.
OSHA is in the process of investigating Methylene Chloride, but little is being done to protect consumers from this dangerous chemical. If you are in need of a Workers’ Compensation Attorney please click here to learn more.