This risk assessment on dichloromethane was carried out specifically for the marine environment, following methodology given in the EU risk assessment Regulation (1488/94) and Guidance Document of the EU New and Existing Substances Regulation (TGD, 1997). The study consists of collection and evaluation of data on effects and environmental concentrations from analytical monitoring programs in large rivers and estuaries in the North Sea area. The risk is indicated by the ratio of 'predicted environmental concentrations' (PEC) to 'predicted no-effect concentrations' (PNEC) for the marine aquatic environment. In total, 23 studies for fish, 17 studies for invertebrates and 6 studies for algae were evaluated. Both acute and chronic toxicity studies were taken into account and appropriate assessment factors used to define a PNEC value of 830 microg/l. Most of the available monitoring data apply to rivers and estuaries and were used to calculate PECs. The most recent data (1983--1995) support a typical PEC for dichloromethane lower than 0.2 microg/l and a worst case PEC of 13.6 microg/l. Dichloromethane is not a 'toxic, persistent and liable to bioaccumulate' substance sensu the Oslo and Paris Conventions for the Prevention of Marine Pollution (OSPAR-DYNAMEC). The calculated PEC/PNEC ratios give margins of 60 to 4000 between the PNEC and PEC, dilution within the sea would further increase these margins. It can be concluded that the present use of dichloromethane does not present a risk to the marine aquatic environment.