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

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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Reflections on the VT Environmental Summit

Sunday’s VT Environmental Summit, co-hosted with Toxics Action Center, was a real highlight of my time working with VPIRG so far.  Over 75 people joined us at Vermont Technical College to spend a day meeting new people, learning more about the issues we all care about and how we can make the biggest impact working ...

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New Study: Mercury in Tuna May Present Greater Risk than Thought

For immediate release: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 Montpelier, VT – Some children may be at greater risk from mercury in tuna than previously thought, finds a new study by the Mercury Policy Project (MPP).  Tuna Surprise contains the first-ever test results of canned tuna sold to schools, including Vermont schools, and assesses children’s mercury exposure from ...

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VPIRG Releases 2011-2012 Legislative Scorecard

  The Vermont Public Interest Research Group released its 2011-2012 Legislative Scorecard on public interest issues today. As the state’s largest consumer and environmental advocacy organization, VPIRG is involved in a broad range of policy debates in Montpelier, from health care reform to banning fracking. The 2011-2012 Legislative Scorecard tracks votes on clean energy, health care, consumer protection, green cleaning, ...

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Thank You Summer 2012 Interns!

VPIRG summer interns worked hard on research, grassroots organizing and more.  We extend a huge THANK YOU to these five dedicated, smart members of the team.  Click the links below to learn their stories. Clean Energy Intern – Brian Buckley Brian Buckley is one of two clean energy interns working with VPIRG.  A bona fide energy nerd, ...

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Back-to-School Guide for Safer School Supplies

The Back-to-School Guide for Safer School Supplies provides parents with information on many common back-to-school items – from backpacks to binders – that may contain toxic chemicals and suggests some safer alternatives. For example, a lot of children’s products, including backpacks, paper clips, 3-ring binders, and lunch boxes, are decorated with PVC coatings.   Polyvinyl chloride, or ...

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