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!
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. Ask your Senators to support the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011. This new bill 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.
By Jessica Alba, Actress and Concerned Mother