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

Intern Dives into Reforming Toxic Chemical Regulations

Evaluating funding mechanisms available to states tackling new comprehensive toxic chemical regulations – this research requires brains and patience, both of which intern Mitty Barnard has exemplified this summer.  Mitty comes to VPIRG from Vermont Law School, where she’s on track to complete her law degree in 2013. Prior to coming to Vermont for law school, ...

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VPIRG Intern Making an Impact

South Burlington resident and soon-to-be Connecticut College senior, Scott Britt, is interning with VPIRG’s Field team this summer.  As a government major, he’s focused on learning how to inform and engage citizens on important issues of the day, from wind energy to the Bottle Bill. Having wasted no time getting his hands dirty, Scott has toured ...

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“National Stroller Brigade” Descends on Capitol

Several hundred moms, nurses and cancer survivors gathered at the U.S. Capitol to demand action on toxic chemicals. The group rallied in support of Senator Frank Lautenberg’s (D-NJ) Safe Chemicals Act, a bill to overhaul antiquated laws governing toxic chemicals.  Hundreds of moms, including VPIRG Environmental Health Advocate Lauren Hierl, flew or bused into Washington ...

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Lies of the Chemical Industry

Update from VPIRG Environmental Health Advocate, Lauren Hierl — May 10, 2011 I knew the chemical industry couldn’t be trusted, but it’s way worse than I thought. This week, the Chicago Tribune published a scathing series of articles about the underhanded tactics the chemical industry has used to stop regulators from banning toxic flame retardants. They lied in ...

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2012 Legislative Accomplishments

The 2012 legislative session marked another busy and successful year in advocacy for the public interest. We came into the session with ambitious plans – from taking on the Oil and Gas Industry to ban fracking to initiating a campaign to require GMO labeling to standing up to health insurers and making sure they ...

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Legislative Updates: In Brief

The end of the legislative session is always lively. While things are changing by the minute, here’s a snapshot of where things stand with the public interest bills on the eve of the session’s close.

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Toxic Jewelry Study

Jewelry being sold in Vermont stores contains alarming levels of toxic chemicals including lead, cadmium, nickel and arsenic, according to a study conducted by The Ecology Center, a Michigan-based nonprofit environmental organization that conducts product testing for hazardous ingredients in items average American families use daily. Many of the products tested are aimed at children. The ...

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