State Rep. Cory Mason, D-Racine, introduced a bill Friday supporting healthier and more environmentally-friendly cleaning standards in schools and state buildings.

Mason said in a statement the purpose of the bill is to protect and improve the health of students and other residents by not using harsh chemical cleaning products.

“As we combat public health challenges such as the H1N1 flu virus, it is more important than ever to ensure a safe, healthy indoor environment for our state’s residents,” Mason said in the statement.

Mason added by reducing pollution and runoff through the use of safer cleaning products and processes, the bill will also preserve and protect state waterways.

According the statement, JohnsonDiversey, a company specializing in sanitation solutions, worked with Mason to formulate the bill. JohnsonDiversey Chairman Curt Johnson said in the statement he supports Mason in his efforts to create a cleaner indoor environment.

“As a Wisconsin company that is a global leader in the sustainable facility movement, we endorse this legislation as important public policy that will move us toward a cleaner, healthier future,” Johnson said in the statement.

Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, however, said he thinks Mason’s bill is an unnecessary solution to a nonexistent problem.

“Nobody wants to vote against clean air in schools, but I don’t think we have a problem; no problem was shown in committee,” Grothman said.

Furthermore, Grothman said it would be a waste of time for school districts to comply with the bill if it becomes a law.

Rep. Spencer Black, D-Madison, said he supports Mason’s bill, and said he has chosen to become one of the bill’s co-sponsors.

“It’s important to have a less toxic environment where young children are spending their time,” Black said. “Their bodies are growing, and they are much more susceptible to toxic chemicals.”

According to Black, Mason will give legislators a few weeks to become additional co-sponsors before he officially introduces the bill sometime in the fall. Black added the bill will be referred to a committee, most likely the Natural Resources Committee, and a public hearing will be scheduled after that.