How "Friendly" Are the Products in Your Home?

  • Asthma and allergy triggers can lurk almost everywhere in our homes, even when we try to control and eliminate them. They're in our carpets, bedding, furniture, stuffed toys, under our sinks and hiding in our closets, attics, and basements. Mold spores, pollen, animal dander, and dust mites are tiny but numerous.


    But help is on the way. A number of manufacturers are now starting to produce allergy and asthma-safe products that minimize these allergens.


    The Asthma and Allergy Foundation (AAFA for short) launched an "asthma-friendly" certification program recently for product manufacturers. It has just been expanded to be "allergy-friendly" as well.

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    The AAFA says their program will allow the consumer to make informed decisions for a healthier home environment. In fact:


    "When there is an asthma friendly® Certification Mark on a product you know that it has been scientifically tested and proven to be more suitable for individuals with asthma and related allergic sensitivities."


    The asthma and allergy friendly certification program applies to the following products:

    • Vacuum Cleaners

    • Washing machines

    • Pillows

    • Comforters and Mattress Protectors

    • Bedding Protectors and Encasings

    • Toys

    • Flooring

    • Paint

    • Air Cleaning Devices

    Products are tested and must meet independent standards set by Allergy Standards Limited (ASL). For instance, bedding undergoes both physical and chemical testing, while vacuum cleaners are checked for their ability to remove and isolate allergens.


    So why do we need something like this? Well, we Americans are spending more than $10 billion—yes, billiion!—a year on so-called asthma and allergy products, but to date very few of these products have actually undergone testing that substantiates their claims.


    The AAFA's asthma friendly certification program would change that. All products are scientifically tested and must meet or exceed the stringent ASL standards in order to be certified. More and more products are getting certified all the time, so it's worth checking into.


    You can read more about this certification program at


Published On: January 30, 2008