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

How Can We Better Protect Vermonters from Toxic Chemicals?

How Can We Better Protect Vermonters from Toxic Chemicals?

After PFOA was discovered in drinking water in Bennington County, VPIRG worked with members of the Legislature to pass Act 154, which helped address the contamination in the short-term and created a working group to evaluate how we regulate toxic chemicals and how we can better prevent similar situations from happening in the future. VPIRG’s Paul Burns ...

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“Not for use by Children”

"Not for use by Children"

After VPIRG released our 31st annual Trouble in Toyland report and data from Vermont’s Toxic Free Families Act the responses from manufacturers and the toy industry were a bit puzzling. Instead of addressing known and possible carcinogens contained in their products, or ways to ensure parents know when toys are recalled, they wanted to make ...

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31st Annual Survey Finds Recalled Toys in Online Stores

31st Annual Survey Finds Recalled Toys in Online Stores

Advocates Identify Toys Containing Dangerous Chemicals Available in Vermont Some toys that have been recalled for lead or powerful magnets or other hazards can still be found in online stores, according to VPIRG’s 31st annual Trouble in Toyland report. The survey of potentially hazardous toys found that consumers should be wary when shopping this holiday season. Advocates ...

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The Grades Are In: 2016 Retailer Report Cards

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

"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

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

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

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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