Group weighs regulation of chemicals in Minnesota

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MPR file photo- Small amounts of toxic chemicals are found in many consumer goods

A working group of environmentalists, business leaders and state employees spent the past two years trying to come up with recommendations to improve regulation of toxic chemicals.

Convened by Minneapolis-based Environmental Initiative, the working group couldn’t reach consensus on specifics, but did agree on three general areas.

They include: A research project to evaluate alternative risk-assessment methodologies; improved use of science in chemical management decision making and the promotion of innovation and economic development through green chemistry.

Read the full report here.

The working group focused on regulation of all chemicals except those used in agriculture.

A staff member said group decided to exclude farm chemicals because they are regulated under the federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.

Non-agriculture chemicals are regulated under the Toxic Substances Control Act passed in 1976. Minnesota agencies also regulate chemicals, and assess health risks.

Although no specific recommendations came from the working group, a staff member said it’s possible the collaborative effort could lead to expanded chemical research at the University of Minnesota and an initiative to expand the Green Chemical industry in Minnesota.

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