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

Study: Naptime Nightmares

A new report, Naptime Nightmares: Toxic Flame Retardants in Child Care Nap Mats, shows that nap mats used in daycares throughout Vermont and nationwide contain harmful flame retardant chemicals. These unnecessary and ineffective chemicals expose our children to substances that can cause cancer and have been linked to developmental problems, hormone disruption, and other serious health ...

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VT’s “Green Cleaning” Law Highlighted in National Report

Vermont’s “green cleaning” legislation—which VPIRG helped to pass last year—earned national attention in a new report released today, entitled: “Towards Healthy Schools 2015: Progress on America’s Environmental Health Crisis for Children.”  This report shows Vermont is now on the forefront of keeping our kids’ learning environments safe from toxic chemicals. You can find the full report ...

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Environmental Health Advocate testifies in House Committee

In her testimony today, VPIRG’s Lauren Hierl explained to the House Committee on Health and Human Services how the chemical industry has been quietly adding an ineffective and cancer-causing flame retardant to couches, cribs and other baby products–like the ones she purchases for her son, Elias. Three years ago, when facts came to light about the ...

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2013 Legislative Preview

Health Care  | Environmental Health  |  Clean Energy Democracy  |  Consumer Protection (Click one of these categories to skip to a specific section.) Health Care Health Care for All, and Keeping Our Eyes on the Prize For years, Vermont has been a leader in making health care accessible and affordable.  Our long term goal is a single payer model that will ...

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2013 Environmental Health Legislative Preview

A Bigger Better Bottle Bill Every year, the Bottle Bill keeps roughly 250 million containers from littering our roadsides or cramming our landfills.  So, while the state studies how best to renew its commitment to recycling and zero-waste, one thing’s for sure: we should expand our most successful recycling program, the Bottle Bill.  The Bottle Bill ...

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Environmental Movement Loses Staunch Advocate

VPIRG is mourning the loss of a true environmental champion – Joan Mulhern. Many Vermonters became familiar with Joan during her years as an advocate for VPIRG during the late 1980s and early 1990s. In fact, she was hired by VPIRG in 1985 to run our first summer canvass.

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2012 Trouble in Toyland Report

The Trouble in Toyland report provides a list of dangerous toys that surveyors found on toy store shelves within the past month. The list includes a dangerous magnet toy, a plastic food set that is a choking hazard and a toy guitar that is harmful to little ears. Each year, thousands of children continue to be injured ...

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Trouble in Toyland, still, after 27 years

As we head into the holiday shopping season, dangerous toys can still be found on America’s store shelves, according to VPIRG’s 27th annual Trouble in Toyland report. VPIRG released a new report revealing the results of laboratory testing on toys for toxic chemicals including lead and phthalates, both of which have harmful health impacts on ...

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