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

Legislative Update: Toxic Chemical Reform

Legislative Update: Toxic Chemical Reform

The Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee has been reviewing S. 103, the toxic chemical reform bill based on recommendations from a working group convened in response to PFOA contamination in Vermont. The comprehensive recommendations suggested by the working group would expand and strengthen our toxic chemical regulations, provide more information to communities, and help our ...

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300+ advocacy organizations join in national opposition to mega-mergers

300+ advocacy organizations join in national opposition to mega-mergers

VPIRG joined over 300 other farming, beekeeping, farm worker, religious, food safety, and conservation advocacy groups this week in calling for the U.S. Department of Justice to put consumer and farmer interests above corporate interests, by conducting a thorough investigation of the proposed mergers between the world’s largest agrochemical and seed companies – Bayer AG ...

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Study Finds Toxic Chemicals in Food Wrappers

Study Finds Toxic Chemicals in Food Wrappers

A new study by the Environmental Working Group shows that chemicals closely related to PFOA, the toxic chemical that contaminated water in Bennington, are still used in some food wrappers. Since PFOA was banned from food contact substances, industry has shifted to coat food wrappers with similar chemicals with slightly different chemical structures, which are intended to pass ...

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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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