Jessica Alba is worried about chemicals.
So much so that the actress created her own business, The Honest Company, which provides what they say are safe, non-toxic lifestyle products, above and beyond any safety regulations.
But her now billion-dollar company can only serve so many customers, so on Thursday, she was up on Capitol Hill, knocking on senators’ doors just like anyone else lobbying a lawmaker, seeking even more change.
She was there along with a few other business owners to express concerns over a federal law, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), that she and many others believe is severely outdated.
“It's a human health issue,” Alba said in an interview with ABC between Senate meetings. “I don't want to raise my children in a world where I have to be concerned about their safety and their health. I don't want them to be guinea pigs any more, with certain chemicals being used on them, and we'll just see if they get sick.”
Two senators introduced bipartisan legislation in March that would update TSCA, which according to the Environmental Defense Fund hasn’t been significantly amended since its adoption in 1976. The bill would mandate safety reviews for all chemicals in active commerce and require any new chemicals be certified as safe before they hit the market.
“This type of legislation will create lots of innovation because they'll be better transparency, there will be better testing and we'll know more about those chemicals,” said Jeffrey Hollender, the founder of all-natural product company Seventh Generation.
Hollender is a co-founder of the American Sustainable Business Council, with whom Alba and Hollender were visiting the Senate Thursday.
Alba said she had been happy with the reception she and her colleagues received from the staffers and senators they met with, including Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey and California Sen. Barbara Boxer, both Democrats.
“The reception has been great. Everyone wants to live a safer and healthier life. Especially when you have grand-kids, a lot of the senators have grand-kids, or children of their own. They want them to live their best life and they want to protect them,” Alba said.