On Thursday, November 10, 2011 stroller brigades of parents and caregivers will take to the streets in eleven states to show their support for the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011. The Act is meant to overhaul the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) which essentially created a safe-until-proven-dangerous attitude towards chemicals in everyday products and left the public in danger.
The stroller brigades began in 2010 to raise awareness about the essentially unregulated chemicals found in everyday items like plastics, carpets, cleaning products and clothing. There are over 85,000 chemicals found in common household products today and many are known to be leading causes of developmental disorders and illnesses including cancer. The Safe Chemicals Act gives the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the power it needs to effectively regulate these hazards and requires labeling to help consumers make informed decisions.
The mom-organized, family friendly events include letter writing and sign making campaigns to encourage local senators to support the Act, and culminate with a stroller brigade walk to deliver the message to legislators. With red super hero capes for the children, parents will be asking their Senator to “Be a hero and co-sponsor the Safe Chemicals Act!”
According to Safer Chemicals Healthy Family, introduction of the Act follows legislation in eighteen states to address potentially hazards chemicals and a series of corporate policies limiting toxic chemicals from companies including Wal-Mart and Kaiser Permanente. Even so, a November 2011 report from Clean and Healthy New York found that only 8% of the mattress models they surveyed were made without known allergens or known “chemicals of concern.”
Celebrities are getting involved also. Actress Jessica Alba has partnered with Safer Chemicals Healthy Families to spread the word about toxic chemicals and the stroller brigade events. In her blog post on the Safer Chemicals website, she says how she was so upset to learn about the problem with baby bottles, and how toxins that affect your brain are being used as a part of the plastics in the everyday things our kids use. She is asking all parents to take action to support the Safe Chemicals Act.
Stroller Brigade events are currently scheduled in Long Beach, NY, Newark, DE, Little Rock, AR, Fullerton, Cailf., Raleigh, N.C., Omaha, Neb., Providence, R.I., Norfolk, Va., O’Fallon, Mo., and Knoxville, Tenn., on November 11. On November 17, another event will be held in Anchorage, Alaska. Most events run from midmorning until around noon and include scheduled meetings with Senators and staff to deliver letters, signs and petitions. For those interested in leading their own stroller brigade, information and suggestions are available by emailing email@example.com.