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
A report released today reveals that major retail companies are making slow but meaningful progress at improving the chemical safety of the products, food, and packaging they sell, but nearly half of those scored — including every restaurant chain evaluated — have failed to take any public measures to help eliminate toxic chemicals from the ...Read More
VPIRG has come out in support of Article 4 – a proposed charter change for Montpelier that would give city leaders the authority to address the growing problem of single-use plastic pollution. Specifically, the charter change, proposed by the Mayor and City Council, would enable Montpelier to regulate the sale and distribution of single-use plastics. ...Read More
VPIRG joined the Conservation law Foundation (CLF) and other partners in filing a petition calling for new drinking water standards in Vermont that better protect the public from harmful PFAS chemicals. The petition calls on the Agency of Natural Resources to implement water treatment solutions to protect Vermonters from the full class of PFAS instead ...Read More
Earlier today, VPIRG stood alongside business owners and environmentalists in the kick off for the Straws Upon Request Pledge, a statewide campaign aimed at reducing the number of single-use plastic straws used and thrown away in Vermont. The idea is pretty simple: businesses that take the pledge will make straws available to their customers only upon ...Read More
(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