Reducing Exposure to Toxic Chemicals

Thousands of toxic or untested chemicals are used in products we use every day in our homes, schools, and workplaces. These toxins are building up in our bodies and are contributing to alarming trends in public health, including increased rates of birth defects, developmental disabilities, reproductive disorders, cancers, and more. VPIRG supports federal and state legislation that will get known toxins out of consumer products, and require health and safety testing before chemicals make it into products on our store shelves.


Recent Toxics and Environmental Health News

300+ advocacy organizations join in national opposition to mega-mergers

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VPIRG joined over 300 other farming, beekeeping, farm worker, religious, food safety, and conservation advocacy groups this week in calling for the U.S. Department of Justice to put consumer and farmer interests above corporate interests, by conducting a thorough investigation of the proposed mergers between the world’s largest agrochemical and seed companies – Bayer AG ...

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Study Finds Toxic Chemicals in Food Wrappers

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A new study by the Environmental Working Group shows that chemicals closely related to PFOA, the toxic chemical that contaminated water in Bennington, are still used in some food wrappers. Since PFOA was banned from food contact substances, industry has shifted to coat food wrappers with similar chemicals with slightly different chemical structures, which are intended to pass ...

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How Can We Better Protect Vermonters from Toxic Chemicals?

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After PFOA was discovered in drinking water in Bennington County, VPIRG worked with members of the Legislature to pass Act 154, which helped address the contamination in the short-term and created a working group to evaluate how we regulate toxic chemicals and how we can better prevent similar situations from happening in the future. VPIRG’s Paul Burns ...

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“Not for use by Children”

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After VPIRG released our 31st annual Trouble in Toyland report and data from Vermont’s Toxic Free Families Act the responses from manufacturers and the toy industry were a bit puzzling. Instead of addressing known and possible carcinogens contained in their products, or ways to ensure parents know when toys are recalled, they wanted to make ...

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31st Annual Survey Finds Recalled Toys in Online Stores

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Advocates Identify Toys Containing Dangerous Chemicals Available in Vermont Some toys that have been recalled for lead or powerful magnets or other hazards can still be found in online stores, according to VPIRG’s 31st annual Trouble in Toyland report. The survey of potentially hazardous toys found that consumers should be wary when shopping this holiday season. Advocates ...

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The Grades Are In: 2016 Retailer Report Cards

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Every year the top retailers in the US are assessed based on their disclosure of harmful toxic chemicals that are often used in their products. In a country where over 85,000 chemicals that are not fully tested are regularly used in everyday consumer products, disclosure and arming consumers with the right to know is the most powerful ...

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“Pretty Scary 2” Report Unveils the Toxic Truth Behind Kid’s Facepaint

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We can all agree that there are few Halloween traditions more adorable than children getting their faces painted to look like spooky ghosts or fierce animals. However, a new report by the Breast Cancer Fund and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has highlighted a dark reality behind kid’s face paint: it is often riddled with chemicals that most would not let their kids go ...

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Keeping TFM out of the Tap

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The issue of using aquatic pesticides to control lamprey populations in and around Lake Champlain has received considerable attention in recent weeks. In particular, the determination made by the Vermont Department of Health (DOH) that permits issued for the use of the chemical 3-trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol (TFM) should not allow the chemical to be detectable in water that ...

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