Jessica Alba

The NPR health blog Shots covered a late-May Capitol Hill appearance by the actress Jessica Alba to advocate for reforms to the Toxic Substances Control Act, a 1976 law that governs how chemicals are used in products from water bottles to soaps to furniture.  In May, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement recommending that the government specifically amend this law to better protect children and pregnant women.

Alba appeared with Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), who has introduced a bill called "The Safe Chemicals Act of 2011" as a replacement to the Toxic Substances Control Act.  Announcing the bill in April, Lautenberg said, "The average American has more than 200 industrial chemicals in their body, including dozens linked to cancer and other health problems.  The shocking truth is that the current law does not require tests to ensure chemicals used in everyday household products are safe. The EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] does not have the tools to address dangerous substances and even the chemical industry has asked for stronger laws to assure consumers that their products are safe.  My 'Safe Chemicals Act' will breathe new life into a long-dead statute by empowering EPA to separate the chemicals that help from the chemicals that hurt."