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

McDonald’s Week of Action

McDonald's Week of Action

PFAS chemicals pose a danger to human health unlike any other. For the past several years, our state has been focused on how Vermonters might be exposed to PFAS pollution through drinking water – and rightfully so. This concern stemmed from the now well-known 2016 discovery of high levels of PFAS in hundreds of drinking water wells in Bennington County. As of August 2020, nine public water systems in Vermont have tested above the ...

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Toxic chemicals used in take-out food packaging from popular food chains

Toxic chemicals used in take-out food packaging from popular food chains

A new report released today by the Vermont Public Interest Research and Education Fund (VPIREF), Vermont Conservation Voters, the Mind the Store campaign, Toxic-Free Future, and other partners found that nearly half of all take-out food packaging tested from multiple popular food chains contains potentially toxic chemicals. The new investigation shows that all six food ...

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Let’s Talk About Environmental Justice

Let's Talk About Environmental Justice

According to the EPA, environmental justice is “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.” A goal which will be achieved “when everyone enjoys (1) the same degree of protection from environmental ...

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VT Single-Use Plastics Ban Takes Effect

VT Single-Use Plastics Ban Takes Effect

Great news – Vermont’s Single-Use Plastics Ban goes into effect today! Last year, VPIRG worked hard to advocate for the passage of this best-in-the-nation legislation, and we couldn’t have done it without support from our members, supporters, and allies across the state. As you well know, we face a real and growing plastic pollution crisis. That’s ...

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PFAS Ban Bill Passes Senate in Unanimous Vote

PFAS Ban Bill Passes Senate in Unanimous Vote

In a huge win for the health of Vermont’s people and environment, the Vermont Senate unanimously passed S.295 today, a bill banning PFAS in certain products including firefighting foam, carpets/rugs, and food packaging. The term ‘PFAS’ refers to a very large (and ever growing, with more research being done all the time) class of chemicals that ...

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Tell VT Officials: Keep Recycling in Vermont!

Tell VT Officials: Keep Recycling in Vermont!

During this crisis, we need to do everything we can to protect frontline workers who are making it possible for life to go on for the rest of us. At the same time, we need to guard against corporate interests trying to use the crisis as leverage to win policies that could harm public health and ...

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VT Leaders Must Oppose Trump EPA’s Free Pass to Polluters Amid Crisis

VT Leaders Must Oppose Trump EPA's Free Pass to Polluters Amid Crisis

It’s hard to be shocked these days by something the Trump administration does to harm the environment and public health. But several days ago, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) made a truly shocking announcement. Now headed by Andrew Wheeler, a Trump appointee and former coal industry lobbyist, the EPA ...

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Bill to Ban Toxic Chemicals from Consumer Products Advances

Bill to Ban Toxic Chemicals from Consumer Products Advances

In a strong showing of support to ban toxic PFAS chemicals from our consumer products, the Senate Health and Welfare Committee unanimously voted S.295— an act relating to perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances—out of committee Friday, March 13th. This move comes after several weeks of testimony taken by the committee, including supportive testimony by Conservation Law Foundation, the Professional Firefighters of Vermont, Seventh Generation, Vermont ...

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