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
(Update 5/24/18): In yet another shameful display of putting corporate polluters ahead of Vermonters’ best interests, Gov. Scott vetoed S.197 – legislation that would have provided a modest step towards justice for Vermonters harmed by toxic chemical exposure by providing medical monitoring at the polluting entity’s expense. “The governor’s veto of S.197 is a severe case ...Read More
Earlier this week, VPIRG held a press conference outside of the Lowe’s Home Improvement store in South Burlington as part of a national “Mind the Store” campaign urging Lowe’s to stop selling deadly paint strippers. Executive Director Paul Burns made brief remarks outside of the store and presented the store manager with a letter requesting ...Read More
In a sad day for Vermont’s children, the Vermont House was unable to secure the votes to override Governor Scott’s veto of S.103 – therefore, the veto is sustained and regrettably S.103 will not become the law here in Vermont. The vote was 94-53. The house needed 98 YES votes to secure an override. See how ...Read More
Yesterday, Gov. Phil Scott vetoed the first major bill to reach his desk as a response to the 2016 discovery of the toxic chemical PFOA in drinking water in Bennington County and elsewhere around Vermont. The bill, S.103, was aimed primarily at protecting children from toxic chemicals in their toys, clothing, utensils and other products. Legislators ...Read More
Last month, Governor Phil Scott sent a letter to legislative leaders outlining his opposition to several bills on the basis that these bills would impose new taxes or fees or somehow impose new costs on Vermonters. In his letter, the governor did not elaborate on what any of these bills would actually do. And based on ...Read More
UPDATE (4/11/2018): Gov. Phil Scott could decide within hours whether to sign or veto new legislation that would protect kids in Vermont from harmful chemicals in children’s products. The bill (S.103) is on his desk, and industry lobbyists (chemical manufacturers, Associated Industries of Vermont and even some toy makers) are pressing the governor to kill it. Just ...Read More
Earlier this week, the Vermont Senate passed S.197, VPIRG-backed legislation aimed at helping Vermonters who have been harmed by toxic substance release, by a 17-13 vote. We strongly believe that Vermonters deserve the right to be protected from toxic chemical exposure and to effectively seek justice against those who poisoned them. Under current law, innocent victims ...Read More
Toys that pose dangers to children are still being found on Vermont’s shelves and online stores accessible to the Vermont public, according to VPIRG’s 32nd annual Trouble in Toyland report. When shopping this holiday season, consumers should be aware of the potential hazards posed by the toys identified in this report. “We should be able to trust that the toys we ...Read More