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Jessica Alba: Why I'm joining the campaign for Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families

Posted on May 19, 2011

JessicaAlba Honest SmallClick here to join actress Jessica Alba in asking Congress to pass the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011!

By Jessica Alba, Actress and Concerned Mother

As I’m pregnant with my second child, I have been thinking back to the days when my husband and I decided to start a family, nearly four years ago. Just the thought of bringing a child into this world prompted a long list of things to think about: Am I eating enough fruits and vegetables? What baby proofing will we need to do to ensure our house is the safest environment for our new baby?


In an attempt to answer some of these questions, I did what moms across the country do – gathered information. I started reading a book entitled Healthy Child Healthy World – Creating a Cleaner, Greener, Safer Home, connecting with top physicians, and talking to my family and friends. I had no idea where this research would lead, but it opened my eyes to a world I never anticipated.

I was alarmed to learn about all the potential harmful products in my home and lifestyle – like toxic chemicals in plastics used to make baby bottles, brain toxins in children’s toys, carcinogens in my cleaning products… the list went on and on!

It’s time to ask Congress for common sense limits on toxic chemicals and I’m asking you to join me in this fight.

Surely this wasn’t true. How could all of these toxic chemicals be used in our consumer products? I then learned that it was perfectly legal to use these chemicals in our everyday consumer goods. In the United States it’s legal to unwillingly expose pregnant women, our children and families to hundreds of toxic chemicals every single day.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not ok with that. I started to research safe baby bottles, toxic-free cleaning products, looked for furniture free of toxic flame-retardants, but like most consumers there was a limit to the choices I could make.

I purchased the limited list of safe products available to me, but it begged the question: what do families do who can’t afford these safer, often more expensive products? What would a single mom do if she is working several jobs and doesn’t have the time or resources to do this endless research?

All of these questions were the catalyst behind my partnership with the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition. Together we are fighting for a strong federal system to put common sense limits on toxic chemicals. We believe in an America where moms and dads don’t have to hold a chemistry degree to have a safe home. We believe in an America where pregnant women like myself don’t have to worry about toxic chemicals in on our wombs.

Our federal system is broken and we need your help to fix it. It’s time to ask Congress for common sense limits on toxic chemicals and I’m asking you to join me in this fight. Today marks a new day in changing the system. Who can ignore a movement of America’s moms asking for safe products and healthy families?

Please stand with me as concerned citizen and parent and take action today. This new bill, Safe Chemicals Act, that would increase the safety of chemicals used in your consumer products, increase public access to health and safety information, and protect vulnerable populations like pregnant women and children.

Next week I am heading to Washington D.C. to meet with key Members of Congress and ask them to co-sponsor the Safe Chemicals Act, will you join me in showing Congress that American moms care about this issue?

The road to change is sometimes long and we’ll need you to stick with us in this fight for safer chemicals and healthy families. We need a steady drumbeat of American moms telling Congress to fight for the safety of your family.


Chemicals are everywhere, and harmful ones outnumber those that are harmless in our day-to-day environment. If we want to ensure our health, and the health of the next generations, we should take action. Being passive can have more negative effects than standing up and changing the system. Thank you for sharing!

Posted by: hazardous waste Long Beach | May 31, 2012 12:02:57 AM

This is great what Jessica is doing!! I recently watched two documentaries "plastic nation" and "bag it" where I learned how horrible this issue is for so many of us and didn't even know it. It's time for us as consumers to take a stand and do what we can to make a change. Each one of us can make a difference!! Thanks Jessica!

Posted by: Sherry | May 18, 2012 2:24:42 PM

I never really thought about the toxin levels that are in my home until I read this article. I always focus on the toxic levels in my food that will have an impact in my skin, but now I will start to rid my home of toxins for me and my family's health. Thanks for this article

Posted by: Gwen Moye | May 6, 2012 11:32:30 AM

She's really a goddess of beauty. I love the way she smiles. She made me her smile back at her. :)

Posted by: cisco ccna training | Feb 26, 2012 8:41:59 PM

The amount of toxic chemicals in products is absolutely horrendous, I truly am happy that Jessica's fame can bring light to the horrible products we use around the house and for our own hygiene.

Posted by: jessica alba fan | Jan 9, 2012 7:13:50 PM

I heard this news from a friend. Jessica Alba is reallt fond of joining helpful organizations. It's really amazing how this kind of celebrity can manage to become part of the community despite of her busy schedule. It's great to know that she is supporting the advocacy of preserving the health of families.

Posted by: Jester Freeman | Dec 29, 2011 4:10:48 PM

This is exactly why I began my website several yeas ago. Not only to educate the public about what chemicals they are putting onto and into their bodies but most important, bringing attention to natural or organic beauty care and skin care products that are available to them. Unfortunately, these products are not advertised on television and magazine ads. We have a choice regarding the products we use, that is what ultimately matters and most people have no idea! Thanks for your help in spreading the word.

Posted by: Pure Skin Blog | Dec 27, 2011 9:43:09 AM

Thanks for speaking up about this important topic. Too many parents are either unaware or in disbelief that this many harmful substances could be in our consumer products. While we hope for common sense reform, education is the key to parents being the best advocates we can for our children's health.

Posted by: Anne | Nov 15, 2011 7:44:54 PM

I have to agree with Jessica on all terms. If only people were more aware and educated as well. Trying to get the message out there is important, not only for us human beings, but for our planet too.

Cheers, Mel

Posted by: Mel | Sep 11, 2011 5:08:25 PM

I have to agree with Jessica on all terms. If only people were more aware and educated as well. Trying to get the message out there is important, not only for us human beings, but for our planet too.

Cheers, Mel

Posted by: Mel | Sep 11, 2011 5:08:25 PM

Hi. Just want to say how much I enjoyed your article. It's great to see these much safer products getting promoted and hopefully more will make the switch over. I've written quite a bit on the history and benefits of natural makeup and I'll certainly be including your comments in a new blog which I'm going to write on how more and more people are starting to use natural makeup. I've also started doing my own homemade skin care and I've also got some great recipes on my page. Thanks again!

Posted by: Arina at Pure Natural Makeup | Aug 28, 2011 10:44:09 PM

It is time a bill like this was passed, the TSCA is horribly out of date at 25 years old – how many toxic chemicals have been created since then? Kudos to Jessica Alba for getting on board. There needs to be far more transparency about what chemicals are used in products, what they do and what the risks are. Enough with hiding behind chemical names and hoping that no one notices when their "natural" shampoo contains SLS. I know that some products have dangerous chemicals, I accept that, but I would like to know why and what the risks are.

I am lucky enough to be working with a company that produces a fantastic line of baby care products which are made with only 100% natural ingredients. The founders of the company are parents themselves who created the line because they wanted only natural for their family. It is important to them that parents can easily understand what their ingredients are so they have developed their own innovative label that shows which ingredients are Natural, Organic or Artificial (none are artificial, but they put the space in there for comparison) clearly so that the consumer can understand what is really in there. I don't know if all companies will have to disclose all the health risks and information to their chemicals right on their labels if the bill passes (I imagine for some that would get very, very long) but it is good to know that some places are ahead of the curve.

It is also so crucial that there is a central list that people can easily get to understand the risks of chemicals that aren't just on the bottles in their bathroom, the EWG has a great cosmetics database compiled listing lots of products and their risks, this should really become a normal thing. There seems to be a lot of support for this bill, let's keep it up!

Posted by: Beth | Jul 21, 2011 7:32:15 AM

As a distributor of greener products, over the years I have developed a knowledge of what chemicals are put in products we use every day. I find it obscene that the government allows chemicals to be put in our food & personal care items. The line I distribute is concentrated and will normally last much longer than a store bought item. Price per use is comparable or less for those watching their budgets. The choice is ours to make and when we all make the less toxic choice the message will be clear to these companies that a change is on the horizon for the next generation of shoppers.

Posted by: Vickie | Jun 29, 2011 2:15:03 AM

Absolutley agree with Jessica 100%. That is why we stock 100% natural and 100% naturally preserved skincare because "natural" doesn't always mean chemical free. We have no nasties in our products and have an Organic Baby and Maternity range.

Posted by: Preservative Free Skincare | Jun 7, 2011 5:06:02 AM

It is so nice to see someone of Jessica's stature/recognition fighting for our cause. People asll assume if "they" sell it to us it HAS to be safe... I use to believe that. Now I know there is truly no governing body over this industry. Obviously this is huge and needs to be rectified not only for the safety our family, but for our future but even for the environement as well. I use personal care and cleaning products from one company that is so safe, No child safety caps required! If interested my website will provide more info ~

Posted by: Lisa Crescenzi | Jun 6, 2011 6:27:46 PM

After ten years of research, my eyes were opened to the toxins absorbed in our bodies on a daily basis. I actually had to create my own skin care system. I had five friends die within two years of weird cancers. I do not understand why our government allows toxins in cosmetics, skin care and other products that are banned in Europe, Canada, Australia and other countries. At any rate, my skin actually IMPROVED with the natural, organic skin care system - chemicals do not mean better!

Posted by: Rita Dern | Jun 6, 2011 8:18:46 AM

It seems unethical to manufacture and sell dangerous chemicals, so many people don't even believe it is true! Education in key and this is so important. For those of you frustrated with the cost of replacing your expensive household cleansers, google "homemade natural household cleaners". It's amazing what baking soda, vinegar, and essential oils can do! You will most likely find yourself saving a lot of money.

Posted by: Heather O | Jun 3, 2011 12:50:38 PM

I am a hairstylist who has been inspired to create a line for the professional stylist when I became aware of all the toxins that are in all the professional products.I found a chemist and found a way to eliminate all the preservatives and known toxic chemicals, sustain the therapeutic value of organic essential oils in an innovative solid blend. It comes in a PCR paperboard tube so you can reuse your plastic bottle. I would love it if you were interested in trying it. I plan on launching it this summer starting with a shampoo and conditioner. Women and mommas need to be educated and someone like you can really help this cause so thank you!

Posted by: Sarah | Jun 3, 2011 12:40:07 PM

Ms. Alba, you are picking the right fight here. Unlike the situation with vaccines, the mainstream and scientific and environmental law communities are very much in agreement with you on this one. I say this as a chemist-turned-attorney who has published a peer-reviewed paper on TSCA reform (my name links to it). Also, I am a big, big fan. Thank you.

Posted by: Scott | May 26, 2011 6:14:54 AM

I applaud Ms. Alba for researching and speaking up in support of the Safer Chemicals Act. Not only is she a great actress but a great mother and friend of future generations. Thank you Ms. Alba for your commitment and courage to speak up.

Posted by: Roger McFadden | May 25, 2011 11:47:39 PM

I'm so glad that this issue of toxic chemicals is gaining the spotlight from not only research scientists but now Jessica. Thanks! Unfortunately, I find this tough to debate with most [stubborn] people simply because the cause and effect of some VOCs, organophosphates, pesticides, fire retardants are not instant and research results are just starting to show up in mainstream news outlets.

As Jessica speaks on more morning shows and other public arenas, I'd love her focus to also be on educating the general public about chemicals and restating the evidence showing that they cause harm. There are still so many people who think buying organic is a waste of money and chemicals are fine because they survived or their children "turned out fine". I guess just like mercury and lead, society will slowly realize that what we thought was safe is actually harmful. It takes time and involvement of many industries: scientists, Hollywood, educators, news media, DC, and regular moms like me who spread the word and buy the good products. Thanks Jessica! I admire you for taking on this issue that Hollywood hasn't touched.

Posted by: Angela | May 25, 2011 2:25:36 PM

Thank you so much for lending your voice to this vitally important issue, Jessica. Like you, I was a mother searching for answers to my young son's dramatic eczema. When I looked into topical treatments for him, I was horrified at what I found - and is allowed - in body care products - even in products labeled "natural" & "organic". Chemicals that are classified as "efficient carcinogens", incredibly effective hormone disrupters and inhibitors just for starters. Like you, I took matters into my own hands and after exhaustive research created an all natural topical treatment that works better than anything with chemicals and steroids. So it CAN be done! Many, many mothers finally drew me into business. We are very proud signers of the Compact for Safe Cosmetics and source our ingredients from fair trade and sustainable sources. And we're a home town business, born & raised in your (and my) home town, Boulder, Colorado.

Posted by: Mari Carlin Dart | May 23, 2011 1:44:02 PM

KnoxMomof5: I recently experienced first hand my children being exposed to toxic fumes at their elementary school. I forgot to mention, they have Asthma and allergies, so why isn't my children being protected while they are at public school? Parents we are our chidrens voices!

Posted by: Dora Wiegand | May 22, 2011 12:36:46 PM

I am glad Jessica is reading of all the dangers our babies and we all face with choosing products.

Thanks for joing us as many of us have worked on this issue for a decade and longer. Plaeas help spread the word as we regular people have been trying to tell our leaders to do something about these dangers for a very long time. Many don't think about these issues until they decide to have a baby.

It is hard to imagine we have to do all of this work just to get safer products. I wish you the best and a very healthly pregnancy. Linda

Posted by: Linda | May 22, 2011 5:27:48 AM

i find that to be absolutly absurd.Why would people want to use chmicals knowing there going to harm the world. I now use nothing but glass bottles and am going to change alot more than that. this has really inspired me to do more research in the products i buy for not only my daughter but myself aswell.

Posted by: Amanda | May 20, 2011 7:18:09 PM

Amanda - While researching an article for my blog, I read something in the Washington Post that blew my mind: "The nation's chemical laws, created 35 years ago, make it extremely difficult for the federal government to ban or restrict a chemical's use. Regulators must prove a chemical poses a clear health risk, but the EPA has sufficient health and safety data for only about 200 of the 84,000 chemicals in commerce in the United States." Doesn't that blow your mind - only has safety data for 200 out of 84,000 chemicals. That all happened when the government pushed the responsibility for proving safety to the manufacturers since they had severe cuts to the government agency that previous did that. "Raising a Healthy Child in a Toxic World" is a good read.

Posted by: Jennifer | May 20, 2011 11:54:38 AM

thanks for adding your strong voice to this cause, Ms. Alba! the more moms who get involved, the louder the message to our government will be: safety before profits!

Posted by: Laura | May 20, 2011 9:48:43 AM

I am a young mom who lives off of very little money and just now began to realize how many toxins are int he products that i buy. I can not afford to go out and buy all new products. So why is it that people feel a need to use such harmful ingredients in our everyday products? I may not live in America but I can assure you that this affects my thoughts deeply. Just knowing that i dont have the safest things for my child really makes me feel outraged. I feel a need to speak my mind about this issue because many moms may not know the harms of all products around us. I would just like you to know that you have the support coming from Canada aswell.

Posted by: Amanda | May 20, 2011 7:53:21 AM

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