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Bert

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.

The name’s Bert.  You may have seen me around before.  My face is on the asthma & allergy friendly™ Certification Mark that’s on thousands of product packages, on national TV commercials, and in every major store across the country.  When you see me and the Certification Mark, you know that product or service is scientifically proven to be more suitable for those with asthma and allergies.


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Eden Tackles Asthma With Her Positive Attitude

eden tackle asthma winner

Congratulations to PinkLadyCha! She is the week 2 winner of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America’s #TackleAsthma and #TackleAllergies contest! In these pictures, her daughter Eden reminds us that asthma flareups can strike at any time. But a fighting attitude helps her face those tough moments.

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3 Ways to Raise Awareness of Asthma and Allergies

3 Ways to Raise Awareness of Asthma and Allergies

In the U.S., asthma and allergic diseases such as pollen allergies or food allergies affect more than 60 million people. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of American (AAFA) has declared May to be National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. During this month, AAFA is working to raise awareness about these allergic diseases.

You can help raise awareness too. Asthma and allergies rates are growing. Better awareness helps those with these conditions get better treatment and care.

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You Spend One-Third of Your Life in Your Bedroom

Better air quality in your home, office, school and car can reduce allergy and asthma triggers. But since you spend one-third of your life in your bedroom, it makes sense to focus your cleaning efforts there first.

Take these steps to help control your indoor environment and reduce your exposure to allergens in your bedroom:

  1. Use Certified asthma & allergy friendly® allergen barrier bedding.
  2. Wash sheets once a week in 130°F water.
  3. Never allow pets on your bed.
  4. Never allow wet or moist clothing to pile up.
  5. Use a Certified asthma & allergy friendly® air cleaner.
  6. Keep pets out of your bedroom.
  7. Replace mattresses every 10 years and pillows every 2 years.
  8. Vacuum floors and mattresses weekly.

indoor allergens can trigger allergic reactions infographic
Learn more about indoor allergy control to better manage your asthma and allergies.
 
The asthma & allergy friendly™ Certification Program is an independent program administered by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) in partnership with the international standards body Allergy Standards Limited (ASL). The program offers an app to help empower consumers to make informed purchasing decisions when choosing allergen-avoidance products.

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Congratulations to AAFA’s Week 1 #TackleAsthma/#TackleAllergies Photo Contest Winner!

tackle asthma erin mcc winner blog titleErin M is AAFA's first #TackleAsthma and #TackleAllergies photo contest winner. Her photo proves asthma doesn’t have keep you from sports and activities you love.

Erin M’s photo description reads, “Severe asthmatic who’s been intubated countless times. Still uncontrolled and struggle daily. But I’m a decorated triathlete, cyclist, boxer and I ski. I’m graduating in 2 weeks with honors from grad school with a M.S. I’m med school bound in the future.”

During Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, AAFA is giving away a “healthier home” package of asthma & allergy friendly® Certified products to five winners.

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Share How You #TackleAsthma and #TackleAllergies and You Could Win!

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As part of Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, we are co-hosting a photo contest May 1-31. Post your photos showing us how you overcome asthma and allergies. Your photo will be featured on AAFA’s TackleAsthma.org website. You could win a “healthier home” package of asthma & allergy friendly® Certified products.

How Can I Participate?

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How to Help Keep Dust Mites at Bay

How to Help Keep Dust Mites at BayDust mites may be the most common trigger of year-round allergies and asthma, and with windows and doors closed to keep out the cold they have the chance to quickly accumulate in the home during this time of year. Studies show that more dust mites live in your bedroom than anywhere else in your home, so since one-third of our time is spent in the bedroom, this could pose a serious problem for those allergic such as wheezing, difficulty breathing and coughing.

A recent study conducted by the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine recently reported that bedcovers that form a barrier to house dust mites appear to reduce asthma flare-ups in children. According to the study, researchers found that out of the 284 children with asthma who tested positive for mite allergy, children sleeping with the mite-proof covers had a 45% reduced risk of having an asthma attack that resulted in an emergency room visit or hospitalization. They also saw a significantly longer time between using the mite-proof covers and having their first asthma attack that resulted in an emergency room visit.

In addition to covering your mattress and pillowcases in zippered dust-proof covers, here are some other ways you can combat dust mites:

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The asthma & allergy friendly™ Certification Program App Is Here!

certified-app-launch-blogFBWe make many decisions every day that affect our families.  We second guess ourselves and sometimes struggle with our choices. Questions like, "Did I make the best decision for my family?" start to circulate in our minds.

If you manage asthma or allergies, this day-to-day struggle can be even tougher as you strive to make your home the healthiest it can be. That's why the asthma & allergy friendly™ Certification Program has launched the Certification Program App. This free app is the first of its kind, and will help you make smart, informed choices on the best products for your family.

There are so many products and services out there claiming to be hypo-allergenic or asthma and allergy free. We know that there is currently no government regulation on companies claiming to be asthma and allergy friendly. That’s why we teamed up with Allergy Standards Limited in 2006 to create the asthma & allergy friendly™ Certification Program. It’s a trusted source for products and services that have been certified and proven to meet the highest standards.

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Certified Products Featured During Allergy Awareness Event

Phillies Phanatic asthma and allergy friendlyDuring a fun-filled morning for families with food allergies, asthma and other allergic diseases, kids danced to an interactive performance by entertainers Lolly & YoYo and were mesmerized by the Magicians and Illusionists Kyle and Kelly. And who better to make the Strides for Safe Kids food allergy event even more fun and energetic than the lovable Phillie Phanatic – the official mascot of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Families had access to free samples from allergy-friendly businesses and learned all about the companies that offer certified asthma & allergy friendly™ products and services.

Families won amazing raffle products and services thanks to the following Certified companies:

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Jeremy Schopper
Do you have a Youtube channel as well with this kind of content on it? I would love to see this post turned into a longer video if... Read More
Monday, 10 October 2016 02:09
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What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

Indoor air pollution can pose a health risk, especially for people with asthma and allergies. Your home may have small particles in the air or damaging gases such as carbon monoxide.

What causes indoor air pollution?

  • Tobacco smoke.
  • Mold. It grows in places where there is moisture, such as the kitchen, bathroom and basement. It can grow on window sills and even in walls, ceilings or carpet.
  • Dust mites and cockroach allergens, which come from different parts of the cockroach.
  • Fumes from burning oil, coal or wood.
  • Fumes called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Certain products like new kitchen cabinets, newly finished floors, new carpet and paints can give off VOCs.
  • Radon — a naturally occurring gas you can't see or smell. It can seep inside from the soil or rock under your home.
  • Carbon monoxide — another gas you can't see or smell - from furnaces, stoves and fireplaces that are not vented to the outdoors or not vented correctly.
  • Pollen, pet dander and outdoor air pollution can enter the home through open windows and doors.

What can you do to improve indoor air quality?

  • Make sure your home has adequate air flow.
  • Remove sources of moisture.
  • Keep your windows and doors closed during high pollen times.
  • Reduce clutter in your home.
  • Use products that are Certified asthma & allergy friendly™
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And the Winner of Our Web App Contest Is…

Congratulations to the winner of our web app contest, Dana S! Dana’s prize is a $250 Amazon gift card for testing out our app and sharing her comments about it.

Thank you to everyone who provided their comments regarding our web app for the spring allergy season. To check it out and find Certified asthma & allergy friendly™ products, visit www.aafa.org/certified.

Our web app is an easy way to search, browse and view details for all of the products that are Certified asthma & allergy friendly™. Look for toys, vacuum cleaners, air cleaners, bedding and lots more by using our  web app. It’s a great way to find products that are healthier choices for those living with asthma and allergies.

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It's Time to Think About Air Cleaners, Filters and Purifiers

It's Time to Think About Air Cleaners, Filters and Purifiers

With summer coming to a close, it means it is time to start preparing for fall allergies. Because we spend more time indoors in the fall and winter, we need to improve the indoor air quality of our homes, places of work and school.

Dust mites, mold, and other things in indoor air can make asthma and allergy symptoms worse. Air filters in central heating and air-conditioning ducts in your home or in portable room air cleaners help remove these indoor pollutants. 

Can air filters or air cleaners alone improve indoor air?

 No, but Certified asthma & allergy friendly™ air cleaners and filters can help. There are three ways to improve indoor air:

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Test Our New Web App for a Chance to Win a $250 Amazon Gift Card!

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Ever wish you had an easy way to find healthy products for your family? Now you can use our new web app to find Certified asthma & allergy friendly® products. With our web app you can find everything from stuffed teddy bears to washing machines, vacuum cleaners, air cleaners and more! 

And for a limited time only, we are offering you a chance to win a $250 Amazon gift card for trying out our app. All you need to do is tell us what you think about our latest feature on the feedback form in the app menu!

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Stanley Steemer’s Done It Again. Now Carpet and Upholstery Spot Remover Also Certified.

7.28.16 Stanley Steemer New Spot Remover Image Action ShotEarly spring we announced that Stanley Steemer’s new Tile and Grout and Hardwood Floor Cleaning Services passed testing to be Certified  asthma & allergy friendly®.  That is every floor in your home—carpet, tile and grout, and hardwood—that can now benefit from a Certified asthma & allergy friendly® professional cleaning service.

But Stanley Steemer goes beyond services.  They may be known for their carpet, tile and grout, and hardwood floor cleaning services, but they also have cleaning products that families like yours can use at home for regular maintenance.

One of those products is even Certified asthma & allergy friendly®.  The Carpet and Upholstery Spot Remover recently passed testing for cleaning products. 

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Smart Vacation Tips for People With Asthma and Allergies

6.30.16 Summer Tips Image Family at AirportAs summer rolls in, many are preparing for family vacations.  Exciting!  But vacations also require careful planning if you or someone in your family has asthma and allergies.

Maybe you’ve had allergies since you were little. Or maybe you are new to living with asthma. Regardless of your situation, the asthma & allergy friendly® Certification Program offers these tips to prepare for a safer, healthier trip.

Prepare for Your Medical Needs:

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And the Winner of Our National ‪Asthma‬ and ‪‎Allergy‬ Awareness Month ‬‬Tips Contest Is…

6.9.16 Dyson Tips Contest FINALCongratulations to the winner of our National ‪Asthma and ‪‎Allergy Awareness Month  Tips Contest, Saundra B. from Centuria, WI! Her prize is a Dyson Pure Cool Link™ purifier, which is Certified asthma & allergy friendly™.

Saundra’s tip is to opt for washable curtains instead of frilly, decorative ones that can harbor allergens. She also recommends getting rid of slatted shades and using easy to clean pull downs.

While many people submitted amazing and unique tips for cleaning during the spring allergy season, Saundra provided a simple tip that is easy to do with little extra work and is not often discussed despite its importance.

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charleshoover
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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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Stanley Steemer’s Done It Again. Now Hardwood Floor Cleaning Service Also Certified.

5.12.16 Stanley Steemer New Hardwood Service Image Technician

Just last week we announced that Stanley Steemer’s Tile & Grout Cleaning Service is now Certified  asthma & allergy friendly®.  Now they’ve gone a step further to earn Certification for their Hardwood Floor Cleaning Service as well!

Now every floor in your home—carpet, tile and grout, and hardwood—can benefit from a Certified asthma & allergy friendly® professional cleaning service to reduce allergens and irritants from your home’s floors.

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Have You Heard? Stanley Steemer’s Tile & Grout Cleaning Service is Now Certified

5.5.16 Stanley Steemer New Tile  Grout Service Image TechnicianWe always talk about how important it is to regularly vacuum and deep-clean your carpets with Certified asthma & allergy friendly® products and services to maximize allergen reduction in your home.  Carpets are a common home to dirt, dust mites, pollen, and sometimes even mold.  But did you know carpet may not be the only culprit hiding these allergens?

Tile and grout, which is a porous material, can collect the same allergens as carpet.  Not to mention grime and spills, which often discolor the surface of your tile and grout.  Regular mopping and spot cleaning don’t always reach the deep pores of your grout lines.

However, there’s a new Certified service in town and that’s Stanley Steemer’s Tile & Grout Cleaning Service!

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Smart shopping tips for people with asthma and allergies

4.26.16 Brandpoint Shopping Tips Image Woman Shopping SmallA stuffy nose. Scratchy throat. Difficulty breathing. It’s bad enough when spring allergy season reaps its ugly head, but when the things in your home trigger your asthma and allergies too, you feel like you’re in an endless battle to feel healthy.

“Many household goods are hidden sources of asthma and allergy triggers,” says Dr. Cary Sennett, President and CEO of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. “Fortunately, you can breathe easier by shopping smarter. By keeping a few tips in mind, you’ll be able to select products that reduce the likelihood of flares or attacks.”

Dr. Sennett and the experts at AAFA offer these shopping tips to limit asthma and allergy triggers in your home.

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Here’s to My 10th Birthday!

4.18.16 Bert 10th Birthday Image Bert in Party HatThis spring allergy season marks the 10th anniversary of AAFA’s asthma & allergy friendly® Certification Program. In honor of Bert’s (that’s me!) 10th birthday, we will be giving away AllerZip Smooth Mattress Encasements and Pillow Protectors to one winner for their ENTIRE home!  

The 60 million Americans with asthma and allergies have learned to trust Certified products and services when they see the Certification Mark on a product. These Certified products and services have been tested against strict scientific standards and shown to be suitable for families with asthma or allergies.

In 10 years, the program has:

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