Pharos is the most comprehensive independent database of chemicals, polymers, metals, and other substances — currently at 86,479 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 products, including VOC content and emissions, recycled and biobased content, and much more. The data in Pharos also forms the core of HBN's Chemical Hazard Data Commons, a shared space designed to foster collaboration and peer learning for anyone seeking safer chemicals.

The Pharos Project By the Numbers:

  • profiles 86,479 chemicals and materials for 25 health and environmental hazards, including carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, reproductive toxicity and endocrine disruption, against 77 authoritative lists of hazards issued by governments, NGOs and other expert bodies.
  • rates 345 product certifications and standards and uses them in building product evaluations.

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Pharos subscribers have access to a wealth of resources for material selection:

Chemical and Material Library

The Pharos Chemical and Material Library (CML) is an online catalog of chemicals, polymers, metals, and other substances. It identifies key health and environmental information using authoritative scientific lists for specific human and environmental health hazards, restricted substance lists, and GreenScreen List Translator scores. The CML also characterizes the process chemistry used to produce substances and screens woods against endangered species lists.

Certifications and Standards Library

The Pharos Certifications and Standards Library provides a wealth of information on certifications and standards used to measure the environmental and health impacts of building materials, including VOC content and emissions, recycled and biobased content, and more.

Common Products Library

The Common Products Library offers a large repository of HBN’s building product research, providing contents and hazards for over 140 common product categories. The profiles are not specific to any manufacturer, and include a general description of the product type, a list of the substances that are most commonly present, the function of each substance, and its hazards.

Companies using Pharos to inform their building product selection include: