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Legislators to review current Toxic Substance Control Act

By Eric Turcio, Reporter, eturcio@ktvm.com
Published On: Apr 12 2013 10:39:26 PM MDT
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

Both of Montana's senators are co-sponsoring a bill that's made it onto the congressional docket.

Max Baucus and Jon Tester are throwing their weight behind the Safe Chemicals Act.

Baucus says the Safe Chemicals Act would help speed up responses to asbestos contamination in places like Libby.

He also said it would encourage innovation in the green chemicals industry.

Chantel Schieffer is a board member of Montana Conservation Voters. Schieffer is pushing changes to the Toxic Substances Control Act from 1976 which she says is out of date. Schieffer says the current requirements do not do enough to make sure cleaning and other household products are safe.

"Chemicals in all of these products can cause cancer, can cause developmental delays in kids, and generally make us sick," said Schieffer.

Opponents of the bill, like The Society of Chemical Manufacturers said in 2011 it would squash innovation and hurt US manufacturing; ultimately crushing american jobs.

This week The American Chemistry Council expressed hopes that an alternative proposal from Republicans could improve public safety while also encouraging market innovation.

NBC Montana talked to a Bozeman barista who says that it's important cleaning products be strong enough to kill germs. Corissa Hanneman says she uses these products both at home and at work.

"A lot of clorox, bleach wipes, they're safe because they get rid of the bacteria," said Hanneman.

Hanneman told us she feels with advanced technology, developers can come up with other alternative cleaning products that work without hurting the environment and endangering user safety.

"Technology has moved so far in time there's definitely options." said Hanneman.

The Toxic Substances Control Act has not been changed since 1976.