Methylene Chloride is a colorless liquid with an irritating odor, and is most commonly used a solvent. It has a Kauri-butanol value 136 and specific gravity of 1.32. MECHL is also considered VOC exempt in most states and on a national basis. Unlike 1,1,1 Trichloroethane, Methylene Chlorine does not deplete stratospheric ozone hence it’s VOC exempt status. Due to its volatility and capacity to solvate organic substances, MECHL is the ideal solvent for various industrial applications. In industrial applications, it most commonly used as a paint stripper and a degreaser. It is also used to decaffeinate coffee and tea in food applications. Other applications include Adhesives, Aerosols as a vapor pressure depressant, Blowing agent, Extraction Solvents, Film Processing, Flexible Foam, Metal Cleaning, and Plastics.
While it is one of the least toxic chlorinated hydrocarbon solvent albeit it still has health risks. It is an acute inhalation hazard and is permeable with human skin. If inhaled, MECHL can cause difficulty concentrating, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, headaches, numbness, weakness, and irritation of the upper respiratory tract and eyes. If applied to skin, MECHL can cause burns and irritations.