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

UN Report Calls for Microbead Ban

The United Nations Environment Programme has released a new report in which it recommends a ban on microplastics, including microbeads, found in personal care products. The report states, “for the last 50 years, microparticles of plastic, or microplastics, have been used in personal care products and cosmetics, replacing natural options in a large number of cosmetic ...

Read More

VPIRG and Allies Advocate for Strong Toxic Free Families Act Rules

Today VPIRG’s Environmental Health team traveled to the Department of Health in Burlington to speak at a public hearing on rules around implementation of the Toxic Free Families Act. And we weren’t alone- over 250 Vermonters and VPIRG members were with us in the form of a signed petition voicing their support for strong rules that ...

Read More

Buying Microbead Free

We’re working to pass legislation to ban microbeads in consumer products in Vermont. These beads are found in numerous varieties of home beauty products: toothpaste, facial cleanser, soap, and body wash to name a few. And even a little tube can pack a big punch when rinsed down the drain- The 5 Gyres Institute estimates that one ...

Read More

Microbeads Bill Passes House with 140-0 Vote

This morning, advocates from Vermont’s environmental protection, business, and scientific community gathered alongside Lawmakers at the State House’s Cedar Creek room, in support of House Bill 4, Vermont’s bill to ban microbeads. Click Here to read the official VPIRG press release. House Fish and Wildlife Chairman Representative David Deen, cosponsor of H.4, commented on the microbeads bill ...

Read More

Bill to Ban Microbeads Passes House Fish and Wildlife Unanimously

After deliberation and testimony, the House Fish and Wildlife Committee has unanimously voted yes on Vermont’s bill to ban microbeads! With the authoritative support of this key committee, we are excited for the future of this essential bill, and grateful to our allies who were able to testify in support. And there’s even more good news- as ...

Read More

VPIRG and Allies Call for Strong Federal Toxics Legislation

Last Year, VPIRG and our allies in the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Vermont worked to pass Vermont’s Toxic Free Families Act. VPIRG will be working in 2015 to make sure that this legislation is implemented as the legislature intended it to, a law that will truly protect our children from dangerous and unnecessary ...

Read More

Important First Day for Vermont’s Bill to Ban Microbeads

This morning, the legislative push to ban microbeads from being sold in Vermont began with testimony to the Fish and Wildlife Committee. House members David Deene (D) Windham-4, Jill Krowinski (D) Chittenden 6-3, and Patti Komline (R) Bennington-Rutland, are cosponsors of the legislation to ban the sale and manufacture of microbeads in Vermont, House Bill 4. Advocates from ...

Read More

News Release: Trouble in Toyland 2014

Believe it or not, it’s that time of year again. If you plan to hit the stores for holiday shopping, we hope you’ll check out VPIRG’s 29th annual Trouble in Toyland report, which provides helpful tips for avoiding potentially dangerous toys this holiday season has been released. Click here to read the report. We continue to fight ...

Read More