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

There is Trouble in Toyland


Read the 2015 Trouble in Toyland report to help you avoid potentially hazardous toys. For the past 30 years, US PIRG Education Fund and Vermont Public Interest Research and Education Fund have conducted an annual survey of toy safety, which has led to over 150 recalls and other regulatory actions and has helped educate the public ...

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How does your plastic taste?


Probably a bit like sea salt, according to a new report published in Environmental Science & Technology. We’ve known the pervasiveness of microplastic pollution in our lakes and oceans has seriously disrupted marine ecosystems by fooling organisms into thinking it is food, among other things. Now researchers have discovered plastic in common table salt found in ...

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Macy’s agrees to stop selling toxic furniture!

Another great consumer victory over toxics!

Just hours before planned events  at Macy’s stores in ten states calling attention to the retailer’s sale of some furniture products containing toxic flame retardant chemicals, Macy’s announced it would end the practice. As part of the Mind the Store campaign, VPIRG and other public health and environmental groups around the country had been pressuring ...

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Microbeads: Much More Trick than Treat


As we learn more about the impact that microbeads have on our environment, Vermonters are realizing they are something to be afraid of this Halloween. Microbeads are small plastic beads added to things like toothpaste and face washes to help with exfoliation.  A recent article in the Washington Post noted that up to 8 trillion ...

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VT students research innovative solutions to our plastic woes

Kati speaks about plastic

Kids seem to often have a better ability to recognize problems than adults do. This was certainly the case in a Windsor classroom this week as I spoke with middle school students about two major environmental issues we’re facing today- microbeads in personal care products and ever-present plastic bags. To the students, it’s simple: we use ...

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UN Report Calls for Microbead Ban


The United Nations Environment Programme has released a new report in which it recommends a ban on microplastics, including microbeads, found in personal care products. The report states, “for the last 50 years, microparticles of plastic, or microplastics, have been used in personal care products and cosmetics, replacing natural options in a large number of cosmetic ...

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VPIRG and Allies Advocate for Strong Toxic Free Families Act Rules

taylor hearing banner rotated

Today VPIRG’s Environmental Health team traveled to the Department of Health in Burlington to speak at a public hearing on rules around implementation of the Toxic Free Families Act. And we weren’t alone- over 250 Vermonters and VPIRG members were with us in the form of a signed petition voicing their support for strong rules that ...

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