Bilateral hearing loss after dichloromethane poisoning: A case report


  • The work was performed at Occupational Health Unit, Sant'Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, University of Bologna, Italy.
  • R.B. drafted the manuscript. L.C., M.D.L., F.S.V. contributed to and discussed the manuscript. All authors have read and approved the manuscript. There are no conflicts of interest.


Dichloromethane is a widely used organic solvent. Occupational exposure to dichloromethane is frequent and can result in both acute and chronic toxicity, affecting mostly the central nervous system, directly or through its metabolite, carbon monoxide. The effects of dichloromethane on the peripheral nervous system are debated. Here we report the case of a 37-year-old woman who was accidentally exposed to dichloromethane. In the days following the incident she experienced bilateral hypoacusis. Hearing loss regressed after 25 days treatment with hyperbaric oxygen. This is the first report of sudden hearing loss after acute exposure to dichloromethane, suggesting a possible toxic effect of this solvent on the auditory system. Am. J. Ind. Med. 57:254–257, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.