Photo credit: Les Stone

We pursue our mission on three programmatic fronts — independent research, powerful data tools, and capacity-building education — each of which is designed to provide actionable ideas and information that improve health for everyone. Within this framework, we employ five interrelated and mutually reinforcing strategies that together form a path to health.

A Path to Health

Our Approach

Research

With matchless depth and rigor, our research team analyzes chemical hazards, industry trends, supply chain and market structures, and the social, environmental and health impacts of products and their manufacture.

Data Tools

Pharos
Pharos

The most comprehensive independent database of chemicals, polymers, metals, and other substances and their associated health hazards — currently at 104,413 records and counting. Using dozens of scientific lists for specific human and environmental health hazards, it aggregates a vast array of information used for analyzing chemicals of concern. The tool also provides a wealth of information on certifications and standards used to measure the health impacts of building materials, including VOC content and emissions, recycled and biobased content, and much more.



Data Commons
Data Commons

The Chemical Hazard Data Commons is a tool to help scientists, researchers, and product innovators identify problematic chemicals and collaborate to find safer alternatives. With an active community forum and an ever-expanding library of substances — built on HBN’s powerful Pharos database — the Data Commons is more than just a new way to search for chemical information. It is a shared dynamic space fostering ideas, dialogue, and a future where products free of chemical hazards are the norm and accessible to everyone.



Portico
Portico

Portico is a curated product library of high-quality, actionable information about the transparency and healthfulness of building products. Project teams request, research, and select materials that support human and environmental health. The tool relies on data from industry-leading manufacturers and builds the critical mass needed to transform the marketplace with products optimized for human health. Currently in testing with partners Google, Harvard, Perkins + Will, Durst, MSR Design, and Georgia Tech, we are actively seeking manufacturer engagement with forward-thinking, socially responsible companies.

Education

HomeFree
HomeFree

Our newest platform, HomeFree is a national initiative supporting affordable housing leaders who are improving human health through the selection of healthier products. Though all people are impacted, low-wealth communities are disproportionately exposed to chemical hazards on the job, in their neighborhoods, and within their homes. HomeFree provides simple tools and resources that create a big health impact.