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

2021 Legislative Wrap-Up

2021 Legislative Wrap-Up

The Vermont legislature has officially wrapped up its work for the session, and once again VPIRG’s research, member engagement, and advocacy efforts paid off. We were incredibly successful in this “virtual” session, going toe-to-toe against some of the most powerful corporate lobbyists in the state. We’re pleased to announce that a number of our top ...

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Vermont Enacts Groundbreaking Restrictions on Toxic PFAS Chemicals

Vermont Enacts Groundbreaking Restrictions on Toxic PFAS Chemicals

Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed into law a nation-leading bill that restricts the sale of consumer products that contain toxic chemicals known as PFAS. Legislative leaders and organizations released the following statements in response. Senator Ginny Lyons, Chair of the Senate Committee on Health & Welfare noted, “Firefighters, outdoor enthusiasts, children and families understand how important ...

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VT Legislature Passes First-in-Nation Restrictions on Toxic PFAS Chemicals

VT Legislature Passes First-in-Nation Restrictions on Toxic PFAS Chemicals

Today, the Vermont Legislature gave final approval to a nation-leading bill that would restrict the sale of consumer products that contain toxic chemicals known as PFAS. The bill now heads to the Governor for his signature. The Vermont Public Interest Research Group, Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), and Vermont Conservation Voters released the following statements in ...

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Vermont House Passes Bottle Bill Upgrade

Vermont House Passes Bottle Bill Upgrade

Vermont’s House of Representatives passed an important piece of legislation on Friday that updates the state’s container redemption program known commonly as the Bottle Bill. The legislation, H.175, expands the Bottle Bill program to include wine and non-carbonated drinks like water, iced tea, sports drinks, and juice. Under the current Bottle Bill system, Vermonters pay an ...

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Vermont Senate Advances Bill to Ban Toxic PFAS Chemicals

Vermont Senate Advances Bill to Ban Toxic PFAS Chemicals

Today, the Vermont Senate gave initial approval to legislation (S.20) to ban PFAS and other toxic chemicals from certain products. The bill is supported by firefighters, business groups, educators, public health and children’s advocates, and environmental groups. The bill will be up for its final Senate vote tomorrow, before being sent to the House for ...

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New studies show concerning link between PFAS and COVID-19

New studies show concerning link between PFAS and COVID-19

As our State continues to grapple with the impacts of Covid-19, our elected leaders have been rightly focused on how to adequately respond to the crisis at hand. However, many do not recognize the urgent connection between toxic chemical exposure and the pandemic. For example, exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) is known to ...

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ANR to let CSWD off the hook for illegal glass dumping

ANR to let CSWD off the hook for illegal glass dumping

In April 2018, Vermont’s Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) sent Chittenden Solid Waste District (CSWD) a Notice of Alleged Violation for dumping glass that Vermont residents and haulers had paid them to recycle. Records indicate that in 2017, huge quantities of glass that citizens put into bins and paid to be recycled were instead dumped in three different locations in Williston by Chittenden ...

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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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