U.S. Sen. Klobuchar targeting formaldehyde

Sept. 11, 2009 at 4:13 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- The office of U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., says Klobuchar proposed legislation Friday aimed at a new health standard for formaldehyde.

Klobuchar's office said formaldehyde in wood products, the focus of the senator's proposal for a new nationwide standard, can cause health problems when used in high concentrations, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

The senator's office said the legislation, co-sponsored by U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, would create a national emission standard for formaldehyde.

The proposed legislation would help give domestic producers of composite wood products equal footing with their foreign competition. Domestic producers currently adhere to voluntary standards regarding the use of formaldehyde, Klobuchar's office said.

Betsy Natz, executive director of the Formaldehyde Council Inc., said in a statement the council has yet to review the proposed legislation but research indicates "there is essentially no risk" from the typical exposure to the preservative in U.S.-made products.

"Uncertified products from overseas that have not followed U.S. safety standards have no place in American homes," Natz said. "We support legislation that will level the playing field and eliminate products that are not up to U.S. standards."

The proposed legislation also has the backing of the wood products industry and environmental groups such as the Sierra Club.

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