Health Assessment Document for Dichloromethane (Methylene Chloride), External Review Draft
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Dichloromethane (DCM) is a solvent widely used for a variety of purposes. It has been detected in the ambient air of urban and non-urban areas of the United States and also in natural and municipal waters. The weight of available evidence indicates that adverse toxicologic effects (other than carcinogenicity and mutagenicity) in humans are unlikely to occur at ambient air and water levels found or expected in the general environment. Available evidence suggests that the teratogenic potential of DCM is capable of causing gene mutations and has the potential to cause such effects in exposed human cells. The weight of evidence for carcinogenicity in animals is limited, according to the criteria of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). However, when the absence of epidemiological evidence is considered, the overall evaluation of DCM, according to IARC criteria, is that it is a Group 3 chemical in that it cannot be classified as to its carcinogenic potential for humans.