Columbia, SC (WLTX) - A federal ban on dangerous bath salts could be in the works, making them illegal in every state in the US.
The City of Columbia and state of South Carolina have already passed laws banning bath salts.
"They're not regulated. They're not for human consumption. They are very harmful for use," said Cecily Watkins with LRADAC. "We have heard of people not feeling pain and causing harm to themselves. So, these chemicals are very harmful."
Columbia police have raided at least two stores for selling bath salts after the city's ban, passed last year, made it illegal. The statewide ban was passed in April.
"It has been placed on a schedule one, which is the same as marijuana. So, basically if anyone is caught with this substance, it's treated the same as marijuana, cocaine, or any of the other illegal drugs."
Now, lawmakers in Washington want to pass a law that would prohibit the drugs across the US.
"What happens is the people that sell and market this, who are truly bottom feeders, change the chemical compilation," said Gil Kerlikowsky, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. "Hopefully, federal legislation is going to work to stop that."
Bath Salts are listed as 'chemicals of concern' by the DEA.
Between 2011 and 2012, the number of calls to poison control centers about bath salts dropped.
Between January and April of 2011, more than 2,000 calls were placed to poison control centers. In 2012, that number dropped by more than 1,000.
"I think the problem is still the same. The harmful effects are still out there," said Watkins. "I think the public are not quite taking it seriously so they're still using these substances."