The Washington Post

Celebvocate: Jennifer Beals for toxic chemical law reform

Jennifer Beals in Upper Senate Park on Tuesday, with the 'stroller brigade' behind her. (Emily Yahr/The Washington Post) Jennifer Beals in Upper Senate Park, with the ‘stroller brigade,’ hosted by the Safer Families, Healthy Chemicals coalition. (Emily Yahr/The Washington Post)

One in an occasional series on the stars who bring their causes to Washington. Tuesday’s visitor: Jennifer Beals

Event: “Stroller brigade” on Capitol Hill, a group of parents and children marching to the Russell Senate Office Building.

Setting: Upper Senate Park.

Bona fides: ’80s actress who shot to instant fame in “Flashdance”; starred in Showtime drama “The L Word.”

Wing-moms: Yolanda Whyte, Atlanta pediatrician and environmental advocate; Sara Chieffo, legislative director of the League of Conservation Voters

What she wants: Reform of toxic chemical laws, and update of the Toxic Substances Control Act to keep children safe.

How she looked: Chic in a light green fall coat over a dark dress and flats, with big sunglasses that she occasionally took off when posing for pictures.

How she sounded: Animated, knowledgeable about the dangers of specific chemicals for kids. Beals, mom of eight-year-old Ella, said she scours the Internet for clues about which products are safe for her daughter. Got big cheers when she expressed disbelief at school officials who say there’s only a “a little bit” of lead in certain products.“Repeat after me: There’s no such thing as an acceptable level of lead for children,” she told the crowd, made up of mostly moms and babies.

Soundbite: “I’m tired of feeling like I need to have a PhD in toxicology in order to be a competent parent.”

Jennifer Beals, marching toward the Senate building. (Emily Yahr/The Washington Post)

Read more about recent celebvocates and even more about celebvocates from past years.



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Roxanne Roberts · October 29, 2013

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