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

Bill to Get Toxics Out of Children’s Products Sent to Governor

Legislation to better protect kids from toxics is now on its way to Governor Scott’s desk for consideration following the Legislature’s final passage of S.55 on May 22.  If signed into law, the legislation will grant the Commissioner of Health greater authority to protect kids from dangerous chemicals in children’s products and collect better information on ...

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Legislators Pass Nation’s Strongest Lead Testing Bill

On Wednesday Vermont’s Legislature passed S. 40, a landmark bill regulating lead in school and childcare center drinking water. After some tense debate between legislators in the House and Senate, a conference committee reached a final decision to set the action level for remediation at 4 parts per billion. They also pledged to set aside $3 ...

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Governor Signs PFAS Protection Bill

Governor Scott signed a landmark bill on Thursday establishing drinking water standards for five perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) – toxic chemicals that have been widely used in industry and consumer products since the 1950s. Known as “forever chemicals” because of their long lifespan, PFAS have been shown to increase cancer risk, impair immune system ...

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Bill to Get Toxics Out of Children’s Products Passes Senate

Late last week, S.55, the bill to regulate toxic chemicals in children’s products, passed out of the Senate on a 25-5 vote. This is a huge step forward in protecting Vermont kids from toxic chemicals, and we are determined to see it cross the finish line in the House. Despite the 25-5 vote, proponents of the ...

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VPIRG: This Mardi Gras season, beware the toxic beads

Montpelier, VT — The Vermont Public Interest Research Group issued a warning today for all those who may be interested in celebrating Mardi Gras with necklaces of cheap plastic beads. The group’s advice? Don’t do it. Or at a minimum, take precautions to minimize toxic threats. Citing past research by the Ecology Center and VerdiGras, VPIRG ...

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Get the Lead Out: Safe Drinking Water in Schools Toolkit

Our children need safe drinking water – especially in their schools. This may seem obvious – but unfortunately schools across the nation have tested positive for lead and other contaminants. In Vermont this past fall, 16 schools had their water tested as part of a pilot water testing program and all 16 found lead in their ...

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