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
On May 19th, Gov. Shumlin signed the Mercury Lamps Bill, which will establish a recycling program for light bulbs that contain small amounts of mercury. We all know the benefits of fluorescent bulbs. They save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, they also contain mercury which makes the need for effective light ...Read More
One of my favorite things about directing VPIRG is that by working with members like you and our partners across the state, we manage to get things done that my colleagues in other states can only dream about. Consider our list of accomplishments in the legislative session that just ended on Friday.Read More
On Thursday, the Senate gave final approval to a bill that requires manufacturers of mercury-containing lamps to establish and finance a free and convenient recycling program for their spent bulbs from residents and small businesses. Pending the Governor’s approval, Vermont will become the third state in the country to establish such a program.Read More
A guide to the Mercury Lamps Bill (S.34). S.34 would require manufacturers of mercury-containing lamps to establish a free and convenient recycling program for fluorescent bulbs. By financing the cost of recycling their products, manufacturers will have a powerful incentive to design their lamps to last longer and to exclude the toxic materials, including ...Read More
Conventional cleaning products used in schools can contain a wide variety of harmful chemicals that have been linked to asthma, cancer, and other negative health effects. The potential for these chemicals to pollute indoor air and impair the health and comfort of students and staff cannot be dismissed.Read More
The benefits of fluorescent bulbs in terms of energy efficiency are tremendous, and VPIRG supports their continued use. However, fluorescent bulbs also contain mercury, a known neurotoxin that can build up in our bodies and the environment. As the demand for energy efficient lighting increases, it’s imperative that Vermont have an effective recycling infrastructure ...Read More
Late last week the Senate Education committee passed a bill (S.92) to protect Vermont’s children from harmful cleaning chemicals in schools. The bill will require schools in Vermont to use safer, green cleaning supplies, and is headed to the full Senate for a vote.Read More
Last spring, VPIRG successfully advocated for an e-waste law that requires manufacturers to pay for an electronics recycling program in Vermont, including free and convenient collection programs in every county across the state. The Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) has drafted their plan and took public comment — including many from our VPIRG members ...Read More