Capitol Hill celebrity-watchers were wide-eyed Tuesday as actress Jessica Alba arrived in Washington for a two-day lobbying effort on behalf of the Safe Chemicals Act.
The act seeks to improve the safety of consumer products and increase public awareness about product quality.
Alba hosted a press conference Tuesday and will meet with various politicians through Wednesday to solicit their support. In an interview with POLITICO, Alba said that the act seeks to assure “that the chemicals in our products, that are in and around our children, are safe and tested, because they’re basically untested. And our children as being used as the testing animals, so to say.”
Alba is a spokeswoman for the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition and became passionate about the issue four years ago, when she learned about toxic plastics used to make some baby products. Alba became increasingly disturbed by the issue when she became a mother herself. Her daughter, Honor Marie, was born in 2008; Alba is currently pregnant with her second child.
“The thing about this issue, maybe more than other issues, is that we’re not asking for any taxpayer money. This is really changing the way businesses run their business and the way that they put their ingredients together,” said Alba. “All the issues are bipartisan, or non-partisan, really. It’s not a political issue at all. It’s really just a humanity issue.”
It’s hardly Alba’s first time championing a cause in Washington. In 2010, she visited Capitol Hill in support of the Education for All Act. In 2009, Alba came to D.C. as the honorary U.S. co-chairwoman of 1GOAL, a campaign that used the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa to draw attention to childhood education issues.
Alba says she’s grown to like Washington.
“It’s lovely, it’s a great place to raise kids,” said Alba, who sees some similarities between the nation’s capital and Hollywood.
“The one thing that’s similar to Los Angeles is I feel like there’s just one industry,” said Alba. Washington has politics and “in L.A., you’ve obviously got Hollywood.”
Joining Alba at the press conference was New Jersey Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who first introduced the Safe Chemicals Act.