New Science Helps the Environment, Right Where Americans Sleep
Asthma & Allergy Friendly Certification Program Continues to Expand in the Bedroom
WASHINGTON, April 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — More than 60 million American adults and children live with asthma or allergies, and the numbers are growing. These chronic respiratory diseases are characterized by sneezing, wheezing, coughing and difficulty breathing.
Mattresses can be a major source of asthma and allergy triggers, since they often harbor dust mites, pet dander, irritating chemicals and gases, and more. Some bedding items can contain unwanted chemicals such as formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other finishes from manufacturing or packaging, and bedding can also accumulate household allergens during everyday use. For people with asthma and allergies, it can be difficult to sleep through the night without exposure to these allergens and irritants. So with the average person in the United States spending nearly 80% of their time indoors – a considerable portion of that sleeping – finding a suitable mattress is an important part of making a healthy home.
For the past 6 years, the asthma & allergy friendly(TM) Certification Program run by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) in partnership with the international standards body Allergy Standards Limited (ASL), has been introducing scientific standards for household products to help consumers reduce their exposure to allergens and irritants. The Certification Program puts products to the test in independent, accredited laboratories around the world to determine if they meet the standards and contribute to allergen control and better indoor air quality.
AAFA’s newest Certification Standard is for “Mattresses” which evaluates multiple facets of a mattress including the barrier function of the encasing materials (to keep out dust mites, etc.), chemical composition and emission testing of the component materials, and real-time allergen accumulation and exposure on the finished product.
Only those mattresses that pass the rigorous scientific testing protocols and meet the strict standards are qualified to be Certified “asthma & allergy friendly.” The distinctive Certification Mark found on packaging informs consumers that these products are more suitable for individuals with asthma and allergies. The standards are designed to ensure that products do not contain harmful chemicals, can withstand routine cleaning, and under normal use and care, will not allow household allergens to accumulate at high levels. Each product is labeled to inform the consumer why it has been certified and includes a specific set of detailed instructions for maintaining them in a low-allergen condition.
The Back Supporter® mattress line called Breathe(TM) from Spring Air is the first mattress to be Certified asthma & allergy friendly, and was recently made available to the public at Costco and www.Costco.com. Research and design during the product development phase was conduct by European based biomedical research organization Airmid Healthgroup. “We’re very pleased that, for the first time, a producer has stepped up to certify a line of mattresses,” states Mike Tringale, VP of External Affairs at AAFA. “Our Certification Mark empowers consumers to make informed purchase decisions when choosing products to help them make a healthy home.” For more information, or to see more Certified asthma & allergy friendly products and the retailers that carry them, please visit www.aafa.org/certified.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) is the oldest and largest nonprofit organization in the world fighting asthma and allergic diseases. AAFA provides free information, conducts educational programs, fights for patients’ rights, and funds research to find better treatments and cures. Log on to www.aafa.org for more information.
Allergy Standards Limited (ASL) is a physician led global certification company that prepares independent standards for testing a wide range of products to determine their suitability for asthmatics and individuals with associated allergies. ASL’s management team possesses specialist skills in a variety of medical fields including asthma and other allergic diseases. For more information, please visit www.allergystandards.com.
About Spring Air
Established in 1926, Spring Air has been widely recognized for its innovative mattresses and sleep sets. Since founder Francis Karr created the free-end offset coil design, which adjusts to each sleeper’s weight, the company has continued to innovate the bedding industry. Today, Spring Air has 13 domestic factories and 22 international licensees that operate in 32 countries worldwide. With $4 billion worth of Spring Air sleep sets sold at retail over the past 10 years, the brand has stayed true to quality, innovative design and value.
SOURCE The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America