New standards for asthma-friendly bedding
Need a new pillow? If you have asthma, a new certification from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) - a leading non-profit organization in patient advocacy, research funding, information, education and rights - might be of interest to you. The AAFA says that your pillow and your bedding can be prime sources of dust mites and other allergens, which can make your asthma worse. As a result, the organization has initiated the Asthma Friendly Certification Program, to help you to find the best products to manage or reduce allergens in your home.
Dust mites are everywhere, and are a common trigger for those who suffer from asthma. As a result, most specialists suggest reducing the amount of dust mite allergen in your environment to better manage your condition. If you have any suspicion that you might be allergic to dust mites, experts recommend that you get tested; if it turns out that you are allergic, a key step should be to reduce your dust mite exposure.
That is where the Asthma Friendly Certification program comes in. This certification is the joint brainchild of the AAFA and the international research and testing association, Allergy Standards Limited (ASL). This certification has resulted in written standards on a variety of products. Manufacturers can submit their products to ASL for testing, and the organization will decide if the product qualifies for the Asthma Friendly certification mark.
Do you want to get yourself an Asthma Friendly pillow? Check out Bed, Bath and Beyond for Christmas 2006. Need an Asthma Friendly toy? Head to any of a number of retail outlets, including Target, Kohl's, Build-a-Bear Workshop, FAO Schwartz and Learning Express.
In 2007, you will be able to find a much wider range of Asthma Friendly products, including vacuum cleaners, paints, flooring and other household items.
If dust mites are your biggest problem, the AAFA has some recommendations for keeping them under control in your home:
- Get your home's humidity down below 50 percent.
- Clean those sheets! A weekly washing in hot water will kill both dust mites and their eggs.
- Pets and dust mites go together. Your pet's dander (shed skin cells) provides food for the little critters. Your best bet is to keep your pets off the bed so dust mites have less food.
- Look for the Asthma Friendly certification on the products you buy!