Dichloromethane Restriction

A new ban on some supply and use of paint strippers containing the hazardous substance ‘dichloromethane’ (DCM, and also known as methylene chloride) is coming into force.


For the purposes of this ban, the term ‘paint stripper’ is taken to mean DCM (or mixtures containing it) intended for stripping paint, varnish or lacquer.


Pure DCM (or mixtures containing it) sold and used for other purposes (e.g. degreasing) aren’t banned and can continue to be sold and used (although not for stripping paint).


The new ban makes a distinction between three types of use:

  • ‘Industrial’ use of paint strippers in ‘industrial installations’ (i.e. facilities where paint stripping takes place) – this is allowed to continue as long as certain safe working practices are followed.
  • ‘Professional’ use by workers where this takes place away from an industrial installation. This will be banned, but UK can choose to allow continued safe use by specifically trained professionals.
  • ‘Consumer’ use by the general public, such as DIY. Supply to consumers is banned.
  • Industrial use


Use of DCM-based paint strippers can continue in industrial installations so long as certain safe working practices are followed.


For more information, email Andrew on Andrew@spectrumrisk.co.uk

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