Actress and mother Jennifer Beals gave this speech to the Stroller Brigade in Washington DC this morning.
It’s a pleasure to be here among such inspiring and energizing advocates. Like many of you, I started my journey in the quest for strong laws on toxic chemicals because quite simply I am a mother and I am tired of feeling like I have to have a PhD in toxicology in order to be a competent parent.
I am tired of being a detective, hunting the Internet for clues as to what product is safe and what product is not safe and why.
I am tired of having to try to shop my way around this problem, deeply aware that not everyone is able to do so.
I am tired of debating school Administrators about artificial turf fields with crumb rubber–those black pellets that get everywhere and anywhere and that contain lead, phthalates, butadiene, styrene, carbon black, a whole host of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and now flame retardants.
I’m tired of reminding school administrators what is good for a tire is not good for a child.
I’m tired of hearing the school say, “well, the company says there’s only a little bit of lead in it…” Repeat after me–there is no such thing as an acceptable level of lead for children. Just ask Dr. Helen Binns from Chicago’s Children’s Memorial or Dr. Phillip Landrigan from Mount Sinai in NYC.
I am SO tired of reading “scientific studies” that say a product is safe only to find the study was funded by the industry it has exonerated.
I am tired of having chemical companies’ untested concoctions run through my veins uninvited.
Monsanto, Dow, DuPont, Exxon Mobil, etc. you are NOT invited to take up residence in my DNA.
Let this serve as an eviction notice-we are all tired of you barging into our sacred homes–our bodies and the bodies of our children.
We look to our government to provide our basic rights of clean air and water and yet right in front of us, in things we may be exposed to everyday, like our couches, household cleaners, toys or synthetic playing fields, lie toxic chemicals that have for the most part gone untested in their effect on human health and certainly have gone untested in aggregate.
For me, and for many of us here today, this is simply not acceptable.
I am proud to stand together with Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families for today’s Stroller Brigade.
Together we will send a message to Congress that the time has come for strong laws on toxic chemicals. There is nothing more important than protecting the health of our children and generations to come. No one’s profit margin can justify harm brought to our children and to future generations.