Today the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a warning after 13 deaths were linked to the use of a chemical found in paint-removers used to strip bathtubs. Those who died were workers using products containing methylene chloride, an industrial degreaser.
According to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, “Each death occurred in a residential bathroom with inadequate ventilation.” The Report also said, “Protective equipment, including a respirator, either was not used or was inadequate to protect against methylene chloride vapor.”
In confined spaces, using products that contain methylene chloride presents deadly risks. The report added that the chemical “has been recognized as potentially fatal to furniture strippers and factory workers but has not been reported previously as a cause of death among bathtub refinishers.”
The CDC warns, “Employers should strongly consider alternative methods of bathtub stripping.”
If you or someone you know is employed as a bathtub refinisher, please make sure they are aware of this latest and potentially deadly warning.