Washington, DC – Actress and activist Jessica Alba, a spokesperson for the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families Coalition, joined leading public health experts on Capitol Hill today to ask key Members of Congress to co-sponsor the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 (S. 847), recently introduced by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ).
Alba’s partnership with the coalition comes at a critical time when American consumers, specifically moms, are demanding government leadership on increasing protections from toxic chemicals. Due to out-of-date federal law, the Toxic Substances Control Act, consumers are often left in the dark on whether or not chemicals used in every day products are safe.
“Like many other moms out there, I try to buy safe products for my family, but that can’t be the only solution. You can’t hire a team of scientists to do your shopping for you. At some point the government has to step in and ensure that chemicals are safe before our children are exposed to them. That’s why I’m delighted to join with Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families to call on Congress to pass the Safe Chemicals Act,” said Jessica Alba.
Alba joins leading pediatricians and nurses who are concerned about science linking chemicals to a variety of adverse health outcomes like childhood cancer, infertility, learning and developmental disabilities and more. Recently the American Academy of Pediatrics announced the need for federal reform, joining with other leading public health groups like the American Nurses Association, the American Public Health Association and the American Medical Association.
Dr. Leonardo Trasande, leading pediatrician and researcher at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine states, “If we do not act now to limit harmful exposures to toxic chemicals, these preventable illnesses will continue to harm the health of our children, tax our health care system and decrease economic productivity in America. By passing the Safe Chemicals Act we can make positive investments in our children and economy.”
Marla Weston, C.E.O of the American Nurses Association also joined the call for reform at today’s press conference. “As nurses we know that it’s always better to prevent an illness than to treat it. We must ensure that chemicals are no longer allowed to enter our homes, workplaces, and communities with little or no testing for human toxicity, and that consumers and workers have a right to know about harmful chemicals in the products and equipment they use at home and on the job. We owe it to ourselves and to future generations.”
The Safe Chemicals Act, authored by Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, would increase the safety of chemicals used in consumer products, increase public access to health and safety information, and protect vulnerable populations like pregnant women and children. Lautenberg has been a long time champion of protecting American consumers from toxic chemicals and plans to move the bill in Congress this summer.
“Jessica Alba is helping to deliver a message from America’s mothers: Untested chemicals belong in labs, not in the bodies of our children,” said Sen. Lautenberg, author of the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011. “I’m not willing to stand by and allow our children to be exposed to chemicals that may be damaging their health. My Safe Chemicals Act would ensure that the chemicals we are exposed to every day have been tested and proven safe for mothers, children, and all Americans. I thank Jessica and other concerned moms from across the country for joining the fight to fix our chemical safety laws and keep families healthy.”
Lautenberg’s Safe Chemicals Act has broad support from the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition, over 280 organizations including public health advocates, environmental organizations, consumer rights and parent groups and community based environmental justice organizations.
Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families Campaign Director, Andy Igrejas thanked Alba for work on the campaign, “Jessica is the perfect spokesperson for the mom-power that is driving this campaign.” Igrejas continued, “Conventional wisdom is that big important things can’t happen anymore in a divided Washington, but nothing meaningful has ever happened because good people bowed to conventional wisdom.”
Alba joined moms from around the country including Nebraska, Arkansas, Delaware, Montana and Washington to ask for the passage of the Safe Chemicals Act.
Alba concluded today’s press conference by stating, “As you may have heard, I’ll be having my second child soon. It would be wonderful if Congress could pass this legislation in time for his or her arrival. Don’t send flowers. No fruit baskets. Instead, let’s all give the gift of health to each other with the Safe Chemicals Act.”