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Bert's Blog™

Bert's Blog™ features anything and everything to do with what is more suitable for those living with asthma and allergies. The blog also presents information for manufacturers aiming to provide products and services for those patients with asthma and allergic diseases.

Bert takes the science of certification and talks about it with you so that all can better understand what it means to be Certified asthma & allergy friendly™. He will also discuss tips, asthma and allergy news and resources, Q&As, newly certified products and services, and more.

Bert's Blog™ will occasionally feature guest bloggers from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) and Allergy Standards Limited (ASL) who will talk about manufacturer tips, new Certification Standards, and industry news.

Mother Nature is Hard to Control. Allergens in Your Flooring Don’t Have to Be.

bona-free-and-simple-hardwood-floor-cleanerWe all want to embrace the sunshine and flowers of a new spring to shake winter’s cold chill. However, many of us also dread the inevitable increase of pollen and other allergens that affect over 60 million of us with asthma and allergies each year.

Even though we can’t stop plants from pollenating and we can’t control the outside environment, we can control the air quality inside our homes. You can create a healthier home by taking active steps toward reducing allergens and irritants, like caring for the largest surface in the home, your floors.

It’s important to remember that not all types of flooring are created equal when it comes to your asthma and allergies. Wall-to-wall carpeting is a common home for dust mites that can trigger an allergic reaction in many people. Carpet is also difficult to keep dry and moisture is a breeding ground for mold. Instead, opt for bare floors with small, washable area rugs, which are much easier to keep trigger-free.

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Stuffed Toys: Good or Bad for Children with Asthma and Allergies?

11.25.15 Toys  KP Image Product ShotPhysicians often recommend removing stuffed toys from children with asthma and allergies. Stuffed toys are like filled bedding, so they can house dust mites and other allergens. They can even contain dyes that could irritate your child’s sensitivities.

But not allowing children to have stuffed toys doesn’t seem fair, does it? Luckily there are products out there that are more suitable for them. But which ones?

Manufacturers place a lot of claims on their products. But only Certified asthma & allergy friendlytoys are scientifically proven to reduce their exposure to allergens and irritants. The certification process tests stuffed toys against strict standards to ensure they do not have properties that are likely to trigger your child’s symptoms. The stuffed toy must:

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Cleaning Products That Go Beyond Cleaning

10.22.15 Cleaning Products Image Clean HomeAllergen removal, reduction, and avoidance in the home are now accepted (page 23) as vital parts of an effective asthma and allergy management plan. That means families like yours can help reduce exposure to your triggers by simply working to create a clean and healthy home environment with better indoor air quality (IAQ).

How do I improve my home’s IAQ?

But as I’ve mentioned before, there’s no single product or approach that can improve IAQ on its own. Earlier in the year, we discussed how to reduce allergens and irritants through vacuuming weeklyhiring professional carpet cleaners, and washing bedding weekly with Certified asthma & allergy friendly™ products and services. Today, I’m going to talk about Certified cleaning products.

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Certified Products Feature: Protect-A-Bed’s AllerZip® Smooth Mattress Encasement and Pillow Protector

9.16.15 Protect-A-Bed Image Product ImageDid you know that you spend one-third of your time in the bedroom? So creating a healthy environment, and reducing your exposure to allergens and irritants in that space, are vital to a multi-faceted asthma or allergy management plan.

In fact, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) identified that bedding has a key role to play in the reduction of exposure to allergen:

‘High levels of mites can be found in dust from mattresses, pillows, carpets, upholstered furniture, bed covers, clothes, and soft toys. The patient’s bed is the most important source of dust mites to control.’

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Certified Product Feature: Tarkett’s FiberFloor Flooring

9.10.15 Tarkett Flooring Image Product ImageAs I’ve mentioned before, hard-surface flooring is best suited for those with asthma and allergies because wall-to-wall carpeting is a common home for dust mites that can trigger an allergic reaction in many people. Carpet is also difficult to keep dry and moisture is a breeding ground for mold.

But not any old hard-surface flooring will do. Certain kinds of wood, tile, slate, or synthetic surfaces are better than others, so it is important to make sure chemicals that can irritate the skin and airways—such as urea, phenyls, and formaldehyde—are not present in large quantities. This type of flooring should be moisture resistant, which helps keep mold and mildew from growing in your home. It should also be easily cleanable with a recommended cleaning method that not only doesn’t introduce new toxins or irritants, but actually reduces allergens and irritants in your home.

Tarkett’s residential and commercial FiberFloor are a more suitable option for people with asthma and allergies because it is scientifically proven to considerably reduce your exposure to allergens. This hard surface flooring has been scientifically proven to:

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