Jessica Alba Turns Up the Heat on Capitol Hill

By John R Parkinson

May 24, 2011 3:47pm

ABC News’ John R. Parkinson (@JRPabcDC) reports:

Actress Jessica Alba came to Capitol Hill today 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 (@JessicaAlba) began following Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families (@SaferChemicals) 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, who has been recognized as FHM’s “Sexiest Woman in the World” and voted number one on's list of "99 Most Desirable Women," demanded a large share of the Capitol Press Corps’ resources. But when the Senate bell rang announcing a series of votes, she was briefly distracted by the unfamiliar buzz and moved off her script.

“Is it too hot in here?” Alba, who is pregnant with her second child, asked reporters. “I know there’s a lot of people,…getting a little warm.”

“We like it,” Sen. Frank Lautenberg, the sponsor of the Safe Chemicals Act, chimed in.

But Alba was unfazed, and quickly returned to her script, calling 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.”

Lautenberg, who at 87 years old is the oldest current member of the Senate, was clearly impressed by the famous actress.

“She brings a different spirit than you normally see at the microphones, and it’s the first time I’ve played leading man.” Lautenberg, D-New Jersey, said. “Jessica is here because what is principle in her life and in so many of the people here, and women and families across the country is for your child, your grandchild, to be healthy.”

“I’m not willing to stand by and run the risk that another child will be born with a condition that impairs their normal living,” Lautenberg pledged. “We’re not going to sit by and let it happen. We’re going to do what we can.”

Later the senator added: “I’m so pleased that all the moms here and someone like Jessica Alba is willing in her [pregnant] condition — and she’s a beautiful mother, I’ll tell you — that Jessica Alba is joining our fight.”

Alba was also interviewed today on ABC News’ “Topline.”  Click here for a link.

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