"I've lived in this community for 57 years, and, believe me, I've smelled more than I wanted," she said.
Elliott explained that the committee wasn't asked to address the larger question of the effects of chemicals on the human body but that the investigation is meant to inform policy.
Committee member Paul Amyotte said there was a nuanced purpose of the report, which was talking about making things safer, not safe.
"Nothing can be made safe," he said.
Reichmanis likened it to driving a car. She said gasoline is a hazardous material, and driving a car is a potentially risky activity, but people do drive daily and feel relatively safe.
"We're never going to make a process totally safe," she said.
"Then why do we use a deadly chemical?" Willis countered.
Sue Davis, who was wearing a T-shirt with the words "CropScience lab rat" on it, said she has no problem with MIC. Her issue is with Bayer.
"Nothing you say can change my attitude about them or what I know to be true," the Institute resident said.
Davis said the report should have focused on the attitudes of people running the plant because the community needs a corporation that wants people to be safe.
In response to Davis' complaint and several others, committee members reiterated that there needs to be a partnership among the community, the corporation and the government and that the report was a step in a longer process.
Despite the tension in the room Saturday, a few people at the briefing acknowledged that the committee had done the job it was supposed to and expressed their gratitude.
Mildred Holt, who has lived in Institute for 50 years, said she couldn't thank the committee members enough for spotlighting safety concerns
"It's a very slow process," she said, "but thank God we've gotten this far."
Reach Alison Matas at alison.ma...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5100.