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
Over 5,000 children’s products contain toxic chemicals linked to cancer, hormone disruption, and reproductive problems according to reports filed with the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology). An analysis of the reports by the Washington Toxics Coalition and Safer States found that makers of kids’ products reported using a total of 41 chemicals identified ...Read More
Vermont leads nation in collecting discarded mercury thermostats Manufacturer-led recycling programs found to be ineffective in most other states Montpelier, VT – While a manufacturer-run program for collecting mercury thermostats is failing to keep the toxic heavy metal out of the trash—and the environment—in most states, Vermont leads the nation in per capita collection rates, according to ...Read More
NEWS RELEASE: Vermont Senate votes unanimously to ban toxic flame retardant chemicals March 29, 2013 Montpelier, VT – The Vermont Senate voted unanimously in support of legislation to ban toxic and ineffective flame retardant chemicals (S.81, vote 28-0-2). Chlorinated Tris, a chemical targeted in the bill, was banned from children’s pajamas in the 1970s because it causes cancer, ...Read More
For Immediate Release: March 15, 2013 Montpelier, VT – The Senate Health & Welfare Committee voted (4-0) on Friday morning to pass S.81, a bill that protects families and firefighters from toxic and unnecessary flame retardant chemicals. “VPIRG applauds the Health & Welfare Committee for this decisive vote in favor of public health,” said Lauren Hierl, environmental ...Read More
In communities across Vermont, citizens are bringing solutions to town. Whether its town meeting resolutions to keep Vermont free of tar sands oil or spreading critical information about upcoming changes to health care, check to see what’s on the docket in your community.Read More
An Agency of Natural Resources-commissioned Bottle Bill study is expected out this Friday which, despite the program’s overwhelming popularity and undisputed success, is likely to prompt a renewed debate over the future of the program. Bottle Bill supporters directly impacted by the legislature’s actions – including small businesses and community groups – gathered at the ...Read More
Vermont’s Bottle Bill is our state’s most successful recycling program and a model we can build on to help move Vermont toward a zero-waste future. A Clean and Green Vermont: A Special Report on the Environmental and Economical Benefits of Vermont’s Bottle Bill, released by VPIRG and the Container Recycling Institute, examines ways in which ...Read More
Firefighters, parents, public health advocates, and legislators gathered at the State House today to call on the legislature to pass a bill (S.81) to expand the state’s 2009 ban on toxic flame retardant chemicals. These chemicals are widely used in baby products and furniture, but are linked to cancer, neurotoxicity, reproductive harm, and other ...Read More