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The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) is seeking feedback on its proposed guidance covering good practices for the control of exposure to dichloromethane, DCM (also known as methylene chloride) when workpieces are brushed, sprayed or dipped in DCM-based products.

As a result of the HSE review of the REACH derogation for the use of DCM-based paint strippers by professional workers, and judicial comments from enforcement activities over DCM fatalities, HSE has decided to produce some guidance on good control practices for those using DCM-based adhesives and paint strippers.  This guidance is being developed as COSHH essentials sheets.

Attached are four draft COSHH essentials sheets that are HSE has asked us to make available to our members for comment, but these are not intended for circulation more widely.  HSE are seeking feedback on a number of aspects, including:

  1. Do the sheets cover the tasks you carry out that involve the use of DCM? If no, are there any tasks/situations for which you believe sheets should be developed, and if so for what tasks?
  2. Sheet DCM2 (transient sites) is attempting to cover a range of tasks - from use of adhesives on construction sites, to paint stripping in a customer’s bathroom - because the controls are similar. Do you find this helpful, or would you prefer more sheets with each dedicated to a more defined task?
  3. Have you any comments on the content of the four sheets attached that you would like HSE to consider?

All comments and feedback should be sent to Susan Hambling ( and copied to Fiona McGarry ( and Sami Ortiz at MTA (  The deadline for commenting is Friday 6th November 2020.

HSE are aware that some of the links in the sheets may not work at the moment, including the link to the REACH derogation training scheme site which is in the process of being updated, so there is no need to comment on this aspect.  Red text within the sheets relates to actions that we know will be required before the sheets can be finalised.