Is it time to quantitate the methylene chloride levels in your workplace air?

A newly-proposed EPA plan could require workplaces to update current chemical protection programs to comply with stricter methylene chloride exposure limits. ALS offers accredited air testing to ensure workplace compliance and safety.

On April 23, 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a statement proposing a ban on methylene chloride in several products.

“Today, the EPA announced the latest action to protect public health under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), proposing a ban on most uses of methylene chloride, a dangerous chemical known to cause serious health risks and even death. Today’s proposal would protect people from these risks while allowing for some uses to continue only where strict workplace controls could be implemented to minimize exposures to workers... EPA is proposing a workplace chemical protection program with strict exposure limits to better protect workers.”

The statement continues, “...Methylene chloride is used in a variety of ways including consumer uses such as aerosol degreasers and brush cleaners for paints and coatings, commercial applications such as adhesives and sealants, and in industrial settings for making other chemicals.”

EPA will accept public comments on the proposed rule for methylene chloride for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register.

The EPA’s Existing Chemical Exposure Limits (ECELs) are lower than the current OSHA Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs). 

Exposure Limit

Current OSHA PEL


8-hour Time Weighted Average (TWA)

25 ppm

2 ppm

Short Term Exposure Limit (STEL)

125 ppm

16 ppm


How ALS does it:

We have two laboratories accredited by AIHA LAP for multiple analytical methods for methylene chloride in air and we have a third laboratory with NELAP accreditation.  While sampling should be performed by personnel who have familiarity with collecting industrial hygiene air samples, we have technical representatives who can provide additional guidance on the minimum air volumes, sampling times, and appropriate sample handling to demonstrate if the airborne concentrations are below the ECELs.

Method options include:

  • NIOSH 1005 on charcoal tubes
  • OSHA 80 on Carbosieve S-III tubes
  • Passive dosimeters (badges)
  • EPA TO-17 on thermal desorption tubes (equivalent to method NIOSH 2549)
  • EPA TO-15 in evacuated canisters

The most suitable choice depends on your sampling project.  Standard turnaround time for analysis is 5 – 10 business days, depending on the method chosen.  Rush options are also available.   



sorbent tubes