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

The Grades Are In: 2016 Retailer Report Cards

Every year the top retailers in the US are assessed based on their disclosure of harmful toxic chemicals that are often used in their products. In a country where over 85,000 chemicals that are not fully tested are regularly used in everyday consumer products, disclosure and arming consumers with the right to know is the most powerful ...

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“Pretty Scary 2” Report Unveils the Toxic Truth Behind Kid’s Facepaint

We can all agree that there are few Halloween traditions more adorable than children getting their faces painted to look like spooky ghosts or fierce animals. However, a new report by the Breast Cancer Fund and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has highlighted a dark reality behind kid’s face paint: it is often riddled with chemicals that most would not let their kids go ...

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Keeping TFM out of the Tap

The issue of using aquatic pesticides to control lamprey populations in and around Lake Champlain has received considerable attention in recent weeks. In particular, the determination made by the Vermont Department of Health (DOH) that permits issued for the use of the chemical 3-trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol (TFM) should not allow the chemical to be detectable in water that ...

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Governor Signs New Law to Protect Vermonters from Toxic Chemicals

Earlier this week Governor Shumlin was joined by elected officials, advocates, and members of the North Bennignton Community to sign H.595 in to law. The new law addresses issues that arose out of the PFOA contamination found in North Bennington earlier this year, and initiates a process to evaluate how the state can better protect ...

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VT takes another step forward to protect against toxic pollutants

Today the Vermont Legislature passed H.595, a bill that takes steps to address issues arising from the PFOA contamination found in North Bennington, and forwards the conversation about how Vermont can best regulate toxic chemicals. The bill includes a number of important provisions that will make it easier for the Agency of Natural Resources to prevent and ...

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Legislators advance resolution for a stronger national chemicals laws

As state officials deal with discoveries of water contamination in multiple Vermont communities, it has not been lost among the Vermont legislature that it is against the backdrop of an ongoing federal effort to reform the nation’s failed, four-decade old chemicals law, the Toxic Substances Control Act. Legislators are aiming to strengthen current versions of reform ...

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New report finds toxic BPA in two out of three tested canned food linings

VPIRG and members of the Alliance for Clean and Healthy Vermont co-released a new report produced by national partners today that found that the lining of two out of three cans tested contain the toxic chemical Bisphenol A (BPA). BPA is an endocrine-disrupting chemical that negatively impacts our hormonal systems. Evidence suggests it may contribute to ...

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40 years after TSCA passage, it’s time to act!

Right now, Congress is in the final stretch of deliberation over legislation that will decide the future of our national chemical regulation – and we need to take this opportunity to have our voices heard. In 1976, after years of unfettered environmental degradation, and skyrocketing chronic diseases, learning disabilities, and other health issues, Congress passed the ...

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