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Concerned Moms, Nurses Launch “Stroller Brigades” to Protect Children Against Toxic Chemicals

Jessica Alba Joins Effort, Calls on Presidential Candidates to Endorse Reform
New Poll Shows Bi-Partisan Support in Key States

Washington, DC – On Wednesday, concerned moms in 17 states are hosting “stroller brigades” to demand that Congress fix the nation’s broken system for protecting the public from toxic chemicals. The moms are supported by the American Nurses Association and other health organizations in a “National Day of Action” and by Actress Jessica Alba, herself a mother expecting her second child this month.

To find a stroller brigade near you, click here.

[pullquote]”Moms around the country from all walks of life have been leading the charge for common sense limits on toxic chemicals,” [/pullquote]said Jessica Alba, a spokesperson for Safer Chemicals Healthy Families…”

“Moms around the country from all walks of life have been leading the charge for common sense limits on toxic chemicals,” said Jessica Alba, a spokesperson for Safer Chemicals Healthy Families who’s second child is due this month. “I’m proud to join them today in asking Congress to pass the Safe Chemicals Act. I also think its time for the candidates for President to say where they stand on this critical issue.”

The Safe Chemicals Act (S-847) introduced by Senator Frank Lautenberg would overhaul the 35-year old law that was supposed to protect the public from toxic chemicals. That law is widely perceived to have failed following several high-profile cases of dangerous chemicals – with established links to cancer and other diseases — being found in consumer products. (Of the 84,000 chemicals in commerce EPA has restricted only 5 since 1976.) Citing that failure, 18 states have recently passed laws to restrict chemicals in some way. Retailers like Walmart and Staples have begun to remove certain problem chemicals from the products they sell. The Safe Chemicals Act would completely overhaul the law, providing EPA with new authority to restrict chemicals and providing the public with the health and safety information they need to protect their families.

“There is an intensity factor with moms on this issue that has already gotten the attention of some big companies,” said Andy Igrejas, the director of the campaign. “Now moms are turning to the political process and some politicians are waking up to the intensity factor for the first time.”

The stroller brigades are occurring against a backdrop of new polling by the Mellman Group showing that chemical reform has rare bi-partisan appeal in the key states of OH, PA, MT, and WI.

“Across party lines voters express deep concern about this issue. Voters believe unregulated chemicals pose a health threat and they overwhelmingly support tougher regulation – even a clear majority of Republicans are demanding tougher rules,” said Mark Mellman, President of The Mellman Group. “The depth of support is evident from the fact that voters say they will cross party lines to oppose a candidate who opposed these reforms–and that rarely happens.” A summary of the poll can be found here.

In many states, the moms were backed by nurses, which polls show are the most trusted profession in the country, and by dozens of other health professional and advocacy organizations, like the Learning Disabilities Association and

“There’s a profound disconnect between Washington and America’s moms on this issue,” said Maureen Swanson, an organizer of the Pittsburgh, PA stroller brigade and a leader in the Learning Disabilities Association. “I know I was shocked to discover the government wasn’t already taking care of this. Today’s stroller brigade is a way of breaking down that divide and telling our political leaders ‘get this done.’” (Contact information for the leaders of the 16 other events are available on request.)

Safer Chemicals Healthy Families, a coalition of nearly 300 public health and environmental organizations, businesses and parent groups, and advocates for common sense limits on toxic chemicals.

Actions will be taking place in 17 states including:
Alaska, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, Washington.