Jessica Alba in Washington, DCLast month, the American Academy of Pediatrics asked the federal government to redo the Toxic Substances Control Act to ensure that chemicals in consumer products marketed to American consumers are safe.

Hollywood actress Jessica Alba added her celebrity heft to the cause, joining leading public health experts this week 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).

Having been inspired in her role as a new mom, Alba said, “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.”

A new bill in congress would strengthen the 35-year-old federal chemical control law.

Even the American Chemical Council agrees the out-of-date law needs a makeover, echoing the Union of Concerned Scientists and the American Nurses Association, which are supporters of the group for which Alba is the new spokesperson, Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families.

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 this week’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.”

(READ more at NPR)

Leave a Reply