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The Health Effects Institute



What is the Health Effects Institute?

HEI is a nonprofit corporation chartered in 1980 as an independent research organization to provide high-quality, impartial, and relevant science on the health effects of air pollution. Typically, HEI receives half of its core funds from the US Environmental Protection Agency and half from the worldwide motor vehicle industry (see HEI Sponsors). Other public and private organizations periodically support special projects or certain research programs.

To accomplish its mission, HEI
• Identifies the highest priority areas for health effects research;
• Funds and oversees the conduct of research projects;
• Provides intensive independent review of HEI-supported and related research;
• Integrates HEI’s research results with those of other institutions into broader evaluations; and
• Communicates the results of HEI research and analyses to public and private decision makers.

To this end, HEI has funded over 250 studies in North America, Europe, and Asia that have produced important research to inform decisions on carbon monoxide, air toxics, nitrogen oxides, diesel exhaust, ozone, particulate matter, and other pollutants. The results of all endeavors have been published in over 200 Research Reports and Special Reports. At the urging of the World Health Organization and countries throughout the world, HEI has extended its international research to help inform air quality decisions in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere.

An independent Board of Directors consists of leaders in science and policy who are committed to the public–private partnership that is central to HEI. The Health Research Committee works with scientific staff to develop the Five-Year Strategic Plan () with input from HEI’s sponsors and other interested parties, select research projects for funding, and oversee their conduct. The Health Review Committee, which has no role in selecting or overseeing studies, works with staff to evaluate and interpret the results of funded studies and related research. All project results and HEI Commentaries are widely communicated through HEI’s home page, Annual Conferences, publications, and presentations to legislative bodies and public agencies.

A third committee, the Special Committee on Emerging Technologies, advises HEI on new technologies and fuels, and their potential health and environmental impact. Its membership was selected to provide a broad range of technical expertise from government, industry, public interest, and academic organizations. 

Read more about HEI's activities in our latest Annual Report (2011).  


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