Making Vermont a safer and healthier place to live by reducing waste and eliminating toxins from consumer products, drinking water, and our environment.

Thousands of toxic or untested chemicals are used in products we’re exposed to every day in our homes, schools, and workplaces. From PFAS in our drinking water to pesticides in our natural environment to harmful chemicals found in single-use plastics and other consumer products, there are simply too many hidden dangers. These toxins are building up in our bodies and 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. We are also committed to promoting a circular economy that reduces waste, creates jobs, and holds manufacturers accountable for environmental impacts from the full life cycle of products they create.

Learn more about our Environmental Health campaigns:


Recent Environmental Health News

Read the 34th Annual Trouble in Toyland Report

It’s that time of year again! Our friends at USPIRG have released the 34th annual Trouble in Toyland Report. This year’s report highlights a number of potential threats to navigate while shopping for loved ones this holiday season, including toxic amounts of boron in “slime” products and a failure by Amazon to appropriately label choking hazards. For decades, ...

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The Truth About Black Plastic

At VPIRG, we know that plastic can be incredibly harmful to our health and the environment, which is why we worked to pass the nation’s toughest ban on single-use plastics here in the Green Mountain State. But some kinds of plastic are even worse than others. Take black plastic, for example. It’s used for a ...

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Governor reverses course; signs bill to protect kids from toxic threats

Late yesterday, Governor Scott signed into law a bill (S.55) that he had previously blocked as both governor and lieutenant governor in its earlier iterations. The law is designed to better protect children from toxic chemicals in products that are made specifically for kids. The new law makes important changes to the Chemicals of High Concern ...

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Governor Signs Bill Protecting Against Lead In School Drinking Water

Today Governor Scott signed into law a landmark bill protecting against lead in school drinking water. The move is being celebrated by environmental advocates across the state. “There’s really only one kind of water we should be giving our kids in schools and child care centers, and that’s unleaded,” commented Paul Burns, Executive Director of ...

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Governor Scott Signs Neonic Restriction Bill Into Law

Neonicotinoid insecticides threaten bees all over the Green Mountain State – which has serious implications for all of us. For instance, the UN just published a sobering report that highlights how crucial biodiversity is and how human activity, like the use of pesticides, is hurting biodiversity around the world. Just as concerning is the fact ...

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Bill to Get Toxics Out of Children’s Products Sent to Governor

Legislation to better protect kids from toxics is now on its way to Governor Scott’s desk for consideration following the Legislature’s final passage of S.55 on May 22.  If signed into law, the legislation will grant the Commissioner of Health greater authority to protect kids from dangerous chemicals in children’s products and collect better information on ...

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Legislators Pass Nation’s Strongest Lead Testing Bill

On Wednesday Vermont’s Legislature passed S. 40, a landmark bill regulating lead in school and childcare center drinking water. After some tense debate between legislators in the House and Senate, a conference committee reached a final decision to set the action level for remediation at 4 parts per billion. They also pledged to set aside $3 ...

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Governor Signs PFAS Protection Bill

Governor Scott signed a landmark bill on Thursday establishing drinking water standards for five perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) – toxic chemicals that have been widely used in industry and consumer products since the 1950s. Known as “forever chemicals” because of their long lifespan, PFAS have been shown to increase cancer risk, impair immune system ...

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