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

What’s that smell?

 VPIRG and the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Vermont, alongside our legislative and national allies, are calling for greater transparency and consumer protection from harmful chemicals in our cosmetics and their fragrance components. In January, H. 706, an act relating to the disclosure of cosmetic ingredients, was introduced in the House Committee on Human Services ...

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2016 Legislative Preview

The 2016 Vermont legislative session is here! VPIRG is excited to build on the nearly 45 years of success that we have achieved together and continue working in the State House to protect our environment, watch out for consumers and put Vermont on a path to a sustainable future. Click on a program name below to jump ...

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There is Trouble in Toyland

Read the 2015 Trouble in Toyland report to help you avoid potentially hazardous toys. For the past 30 years, US PIRG Education Fund and Vermont Public Interest Research and Education Fund have conducted an annual survey of toy safety, which has led to over 150 recalls and other regulatory actions and has helped educate the public ...

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Lawmakers vote to require product-specific disclosure of toxic chemicals!

Today we won an important victory in the fight to protect our children from toxic chemicals. Over the past few months, the Department of Health and the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (LCAR) have been working through the rule-making process of Act. 188 to ensure the law is implemented as intended. Despite hearing from industry lobbyists ...

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How does your plastic taste?

Probably a bit like sea salt, according to a new report published in Environmental Science & Technology. We’ve known the pervasiveness of microplastic pollution in our lakes and oceans has seriously disrupted marine ecosystems by fooling organisms into thinking it is food, among other things. Now researchers have discovered plastic in common table salt found in ...

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Macy’s agrees to stop selling toxic furniture!

Just hours before planned events  at Macy’s stores in ten states calling attention to the retailer’s sale of some furniture products containing toxic flame retardant chemicals, Macy’s announced it would end the practice. As part of the Mind the Store campaign, VPIRG and other public health and environmental groups around the country had been pressuring ...

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Microbeads: Much More Trick than Treat

As we learn more about the impact that microbeads have on our environment, Vermonters are realizing they are something to be afraid of this Halloween. Microbeads are small plastic beads added to things like toothpaste and face washes to help with exfoliation.  A recent article in the Washington Post noted that up to 8 trillion ...

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VT students research innovative solutions to our plastic woes

Kids seem to often have a better ability to recognize problems than adults do. This was certainly the case in a Windsor classroom this week as I spoke with middle school students about two major environmental issues we’re facing today- microbeads in personal care products and ever-present plastic bags. To the students, it’s simple: we use ...

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