Entries in Safe Chemicals Act (2)


‘Stroller Brigade’ Rolls to Capitol for Toxic Chemical Reform

Photodisc/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Moms and cancer survivors parked their strollers in front of the U.S. Capitol Tuesday as part of the “Stroller Brigade” to demand that Congress take action to help regulate toxic chemicals that are found in everyday items used by children.

The group called on Congress to pass N.J. Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s Safe Chemicals Act, a bill to overhaul old laws governing toxic chemicals.

“As a consumer I am woefully unequipped to protect my family,” said Polly Schlaff, whose son was born with a urological birth defect caused by prenatal exposure to environmental estrogen. “Worse yet, because of the utter failure of federal laws, I must rely on the chemical industry to protect my family from the hidden dangers of the more than 800,000 chemicals they produce and manufacture.”

Out of 800,000 chemicals in the nation, only 200 have been reviewed for safety. Five percent of pediatric cancers are caused by exposure of toxic chemicals, while 10 percent of neurological disorders and 30 percent of childhood asthma cases are associated with hazardous chemicals from hundreds of everyday products, including detergents, household cleaners and baby bottles.

The Lautenberg bill would require chemical makers to prove their products are safe before they end up in children’s bodies.

“Our current law allows too many untested chemicals on the market,” Lautenberg said at the rally Tuesday. “We want to have a responsible oversight and regulation of the chemical industry giving the EPA the that chemical companies will be required to tell what is in the chemical and what testing has been done.”

Lautenberg is pushing for a vote on his bill in the Senate Environment and Public Works committee, and if it gets out of that committee, it could go to the full Senate for a vote.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Jessica Alba Lobbies DC for Safer Chemicals in Products

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Actress Jessica Alba came to Capitol Hill Tuesday to lobby members on an issue close to her heart: banning toxic chemicals in consumer products.

Alba is joining forces with the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition in calling on Congress to pass the Safe Chemicals Act.  She told reporters that when she became pregnant with her first child four years ago, "it immediately changes the way you look at things," and it led her to discover the field of children's environmental health.

"The choices you make about your diet and lifestyle can have a profound impact on the health of your child.  You learn to get the right nutrition for your developing baby like folic acid, which is also great for your nails and your hair -- so you can continue taking that, us girls know this trick," Alba joked.  "Avoid anything that can be harmful to your child, particularly pesticides, alcohol, tobacco -- the stuff that we're all aware of."

Alba began following Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families on Twitter, and the organization later reached out to the actress to join forces.

"It has been well established for years that children are especially vulnerable to toxic chemicals because their bodies are still developing.  The vulnerability starts even before birth.  I was aware of problems like air and water pollution but I was shocked to learn that it is perfectly legal to have known toxic chemicals in consumer products that are on our shelves," she added.  "Like most people, I thought the government regulated chemicals the way they regulated drugs.  I was wrong."

The 30-year-old Alba called on Congress "to step in and ensure that chemicals are safe before our children are exposed to them"  and pass the law as a gift to her unborn baby.

"As you may have heard, I will be having my second child soon, and it would be wonderful if Congress could pass this legislation in time for his or her arrival.  Don't send us flowers, no fruit baskets.  Instead, let's all give the gift of health to each other with the Safe Chemicals Act," Alba said.  "This is a common sense law.  This isn't a political issue, it's a human issue, and our children should be healthy."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio