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Pioneering Safer Alternatives: ChemForward Takes on Material Health

 At the recent Material Health Symposium IV, Stacy Glass of ChemForward provided an enlightening overview of the strides their organization is making toward safer chemical options in the building industry. Her presentation shed light on ChemForward’s innovative approach to addressing the significant challenge of chemical hazard assessments—key to transcending current barriers and fostering the adoption of safer materials.

Bridging the Gap with Chemical Hazard Assessments

ChemForward’s mission hinges on a crucial realization: understanding the safety of chemicals is far more complex than merely identifying their toxicity. The comprehensive hazard summary tables of a single chemical, detailing human and environmental endpoints, epitomize the depth and breadth of information required to classify chemicals as safer alternatives. This realization underpins ChemForward’s dedication to building a shared repository of chemical hazard data to facilitate the identification of safer options.

A Shared Repository for Safer Chemistry

At the heart of ChemForward’s initiative is a shared chemical hazard data repository. A comprehensive platform that simplifies the search for safer chemical alternatives by providing detailed hazard assessments, actionable hazard bands, and connections to various sector initiatives, such as beauty, personal care, electronics, and packaging. This endeavor aims to break down barriers and enable manufacturers across sectors to navigate the complex landscape of chemical safety with ease.

Tailoring Solutions for the Built Environment

Illustrating ChemForward’s commitment to the built environment, Stacy Glass highlighted the organization’s collaboration with the Healthy Affordable Materials Project and other industry partners to transcend mere disclosure and drive the optimization of safer materials. A transitional step is crucial: characterizing what is known and unknown about a product and prioritizing chemical hazard assessments to systematically address data gaps and move toward optimization.

Envisioning a Future of Enhanced Transparency and Safety

One of the most exciting developments unveiled during the presentation was the activation of an API from ChemForward to the HPD Builder. This represents a significant leap toward integrating comprehensive chemical hazard assessments into the HPD process, promising a future where characterizing and optimizing materials for safety becomes streamlined and accessible.

A Call to Collaborative Action

Stacy Glass’s presentation concluded with a forward-looking perspective, emphasizing the need for collaborative efforts to fill data gaps, incentivize manufacturers towards safer alternatives, and ultimately, transform the market. By aligning chemical safety initiatives with industry standards and harnessing the power of shared data, ChemForward is leading a pivotal shift towards a more transparent, health-conscious materials ecosystem.