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EAST LANSING, Mich. — The deaths of at least 13 workers who were refinishing bathtubs have been linked to a chemical used in products to strip surfaces of paint and other finishes.
An investigation started by researchers at Michigan State University in 2011 has found that 13 deaths since 2000 - including three in Michigan - involved the use of paint-stripping products containing methylene chloride, a highly volatile, colorless and toxic chemical that is widely used as a degreaser and paint stripper. The chemical, in addition to being used in industrial settings, is available in many over-the-counter products sold at home improvement stores
While it previously was identified as a potentially fatal occupational hazard in furniture strippers and factory workers, a report released today in the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report is the first time methylene chloride has been identified as a hazard to bathtub refinishers.
Dichloromethane's volatility and ability to dissolve a wide range of organic compounds makes it a useful solvent for many chemical processes. Concerns about its health effects have led to a search for alternatives in many of these applications.
It is widely used as a paint stripper and a degreaser. [color=cyan]In the food industry, it has been used to decaffeinate coffee and tea as well as to prepare extracts of hops and other flavorings. Its volatility has led to its use as an aerosol spray propellant and as a blowing agent for polyurethane foams.
Originally posted by xuenchen
reply to post by boncho
It looks like some links to cancer have limited the use.
Coffee Decaffeination Process and Cancer
Due to the consumer disquiet about the use of synthetic chemical solvents, the pressure has been on food processors to find a natural and innocuous solvent for extracting caffeine from the green coffee bean.