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Looking for help in obtaining paint stripper containing methylene chloride. Hoping that it's still on someone's shelf. Thanks.
You'll have better luck making some your self.
90% methylene chloride (available from lab supply companies)
10% lacquer thinner
1-2% methyl cellulose or HPMC (thickener, retarder)

Your shop can also still get methylene chloride strippers from here
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks I was looking to possibly make my own. Who doesn't have a little Walter White in them.

You'll have better luck making some your self.
90% methylene chloride (available from lab supply companies)
10% lacquer thinner
1-2% methyl cellulose or HPMC (thickener, retarder)

Your shop can also still get methylene chloride strippers from here
 

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Although a bit lengthy, I figured I’d share a recent story on the hazards of working with methylene chloride after experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning and facial burns when working with it a few weeks ago.

The back story is that after retiring from painting, I got a job as a cabinetmaker for a millwork shop and had spent 4 weeks working with laminating adhesives which entailed spraying copious amounts of non-flammable contact adhesives in an non-exhausted space utilizing air guns & pressure pot setups. I had questioned management as to the toxicity of the adhesives and was assured they were non-toxic. As a precaution I wore a half face respirator with P100 nuisance cartridges which really didn’t do squat.

After developing constant severe/dizzying migraine-like headaches, as well as facial burns when working day-in/day-out with the adhesives, I did a little investigating by contacting the adhesive manufacturer requesting safety data sheets. As it turned out, the adhesives contained ~ 90% dichloromethane aka methylene chloride by weight….I thought I recognized that sweet cool smell often associated with methylene chloride paint & varnish removers.

Being that the odor threshold of methylene chloride is 250ppm and OSHA’s PEL (permitted exposure limits) is 25ppm, with STEL limits @ 125 ppm, if you can smell it as I did, the worker is receiving greater than 10x’s the permitted exposure levels ….exposures below the odor threshold have even resulted in death due to methylene chloride being metabolized into carbon monoxide when entering the bloodstream via inhalation or absorption through the skin which explained the dizzying headaches. Another metabolic byproduct once entering to bloodstream is formaldehyde, so no need to pay the mortician an embalming fee!

The action level for airborne methylene chloride is 12.5 ppm based on an eight-hour time weighted average. Once the action level is reached or exceeded, employers are required to implement exposure monitoring and medical surveillance. Supplied air respirators are also required due to methylene chloride vapors having a one-hour burn through time with conventional organic vapor respirator cartridges which renders them ineffective.

Similar and even less sloppy business practices involving methylene chloride adhesives than those experienced at my “former” workplace (yes, I quit!) have resulted in OSHA hitting up cabinet shops with fines, sometimes in the several hundred thousand dollar range..

As a result of the experience, my opinion on methylene chloride paint strippers has resulted in an about-face, endorsing the government banning its sale for consumer use.

OSHA accident reports involving methylene chloride:

Accident Search Results Page | Occupational Safety and Health Administration osha.gov
 

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I remember years ago using Zip Strip methylene chloride based stripper. It was thick. When it got on my skin it took a few seconds for me to feel it. Then my friend turned me onto a thinner methylene chloride based stripper from Reliable Paste and Chemical located across the street from the old Comiskey Park on the south side of Chicago. When this spattered on my bare skin I could feel it burn immediately! I don't envy anyone who has to use these chemicals.

futtyos
 

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Although a bit lengthy, I figured I’d share a recent story on the hazards of working with methylene chloride after experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning and facial burns when working with it a few weeks ago.

The back story is that after retiring from painting, I got a job as a cabinetmaker for a millwork shop and had spent 4 weeks working with laminating adhesives which entailed spraying copious amounts of non-flammable contact adhesives in an non-exhausted space utilizing air guns & pressure pot setups. I had questioned management as to the toxicity of the adhesives and was assured they were non-toxic. As a precaution I wore a half face respirator with P100 nuisance cartridges which really didn’t do squat.

After developing constant severe/dizzying migraine-like headaches, as well as facial burns when working day-in/day-out with the adhesives, I did a little investigating by contacting the adhesive manufacturer requesting safety data sheets. As it turned out, the adhesives contained ~ 90% dichloromethane aka methylene chloride by weight….I thought I recognized that sweet cool smell often associated with methylene chloride paint & varnish removers.

Being that the odor threshold of methylene chloride is 250ppm and OSHA’s PEL (permitted exposure limits) is 25ppm, with STEL limits @ 125 ppm, if you can smell it as I did, the worker is receiving greater than 10x’s the permitted exposure levels ….exposures below the odor threshold have even resulted in death due to methylene chloride being metabolized into carbon monoxide when entering the bloodstream via inhalation or absorption through the skin which explained the dizzying headaches. Another metabolic byproduct once entering to bloodstream is formaldehyde, so no need to pay the mortician an embalming fee!

The action level for airborne methylene chloride is 12.5 ppm based on an eight-hour time weighted average. Once the action level is reached or exceeded, employers are required to implement exposure monitoring and medical surveillance. Supplied air respirators are also required due to methylene chloride vapors having a one-hour burn through time with conventional organic vapor respirator cartridges which renders them ineffective.

Similar and even less sloppy business practices involving methylene chloride adhesives than those experienced at my “former” workplace (yes, I quit!) have resulted in OSHA hitting up cabinet shops with fines, sometimes in the several hundred thousand dollar range..

As a result of the experience, my opinion on methylene chloride paint strippers has resulted in an about-face, endorsing the government banning its sale for consumer use.

OSHA accident reports involving methylene chloride:

Accident Search Results Page | Occupational Safety and Health Administration osha.gov
Wtf? I'm surprised it took you 4 weeks. Did you report this company?
 

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Wtf? I'm surprised it took you 4 weeks. Did you report this company?
No, but I did have a lengthy discussion about it with the human resource manager when submitting my resignation. The HR manager did however invite me back on, indicating that management was looking into alternative solutions, and would provide accommodations in order to retain me. My response to the offer for returning back to work, was thanks, but no thanks…I was especially PO’d about it after discovering it had been brought up during their last safety meeting.
 

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No, but I did have a lengthy discussion about it with the human resource manager when submitting my resignation. The HR manager did however invite me back on, indicating that management was looking into alternative solutions, and would provide accommodations in order to retain me. My response to the offer for returning back to work, was thanks, but no thanks…I was especially PO’d about it after discovering it had been brought up during their last safety meeting.
You're a saint. I have no patience for companies playing with workers lives to save a few dollars. Takes a long time working for a large company that HR doesn't exist for you, they only care about protecting the company. Hurts thinking about the poor guy who comes along as your replacement.

Interestingly with court cases currently headed to our current supreme court government regulating bodies like OSHA may loose all their power.
 

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Personally, I prefer methylene Chloride based strippers because I have a LOT of experience with them and NOT ONE of the new safer products does the job as well. It is true, you need to be well suited in protection and I have only, ever, used it out of doors to ensure the best possible ventilation. Used with proper care it can save a body days of hard work & heartache!
 
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