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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.

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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Wednesday, 30 November 2016 20:46
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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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Asthma, Allergies Affect Day-to-Day Life, But Can You Guess What Else?

4.14.16 Cost of Asthma Image Flying MoneyThose with asthma and allergies know just how difficult their day-to-lives can be when pollen elevates, ragweed skyrockets and dust accumulates.  But what you may not realize is the economic burden these conditions have on the Unites States as well. Sorry to take you back to economics class!

Over 60 million people in the United States (that’s over 50% of households) are affected by asthma and allergies. And there are clear economic impacts that come with them. Some costs of asthma and allergies include medical bills, skin tests for allergies, epinephrine injectors, and inhalers.

But the costs don’t stop there. Asthma and allergies play a big role in the costs of missing school or work days. In 2010, Americans with nasal swelling spent $17.5 billion on health costs.  They also lost more than 6 million work and school days and made 16 million trips to the doctor.

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Having Trouble Finding Certified Endust Free? Search No More

3.10.16 Endust Free Image Endust SweepstakesI know you know that allergen removal, reduction, and avoidance in the home are vital to an effective asthma and allergy management plan. That means families like yours are actively working to create a cleaner and healthier home.

But we also know it can sometimes be difficult to find products that are scientifically tested to be more suitable for your family.  A common question I get is, “Where can I find Certified asthma & allergy friendly™ Endust Free?  I can’t seem to find it anymore.”

Well I wanted to pass along some great news.  Nakoma is now selling Endust Free on Amazon.com!Endust Free was tested against strict standards to ensure it does not have properties that are likely to trigger your symptoms. The 4-part certification process:

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A Unique, Powerful Method to Vacuuming and Reducing Allergens: Water

Although hard-surface flooring is better suited for reducing asthma and allergy triggers in your home, not every family with asthma and allergies can replace their carpeting.  Luckily there’s another way to reduce your triggers, and that’s to vacuum your carpets once or twice a week.

But it’s important to remember that not all vacuum cleaners are equal.  Only Certified asthma & allergy friendly™ vacuums are scientifically proven to be more suitable for those with asthma and allergies.

Certified vacuums like the Rainbow Cleaning System must pass strict standards in order to earn Certification from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.  But what’s unique about the Rainbow, is how it reduces allergens and irritants from your carpet.

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Taking Steps to Improve Your Heart Health This Month? Make Sure Asthma Management is on the List

2.18.16 Heart Month Image Heart Board  Cert SmallFebruary is American Heart Month, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). AAFA knows that a healthy heart is a great start to a healthy lifestyle.  But did you know your asthma could play a role in your heart’s health?

Crazy, I know!

In 2014, a study led by Dr. Matthew Tattersall—assistant professor of medicine in the cardiology division at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health—found that people with asthma who have to take medication every day to control it were 60 percent more likely to have a heart attack or stroke, compared to those without asthma. 

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There’s a new Kenmore vacuum on the market, and its Certified

2.4.16 Kenmore Elite 81714 Image Product ShotI know I don’t have to tell you the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) recommends vacuuming at least once per week. But then there’s the dilemma of what vacuum to use.

Only Certified asthma & allergy friendly™ vacuums are scientifically proven to be more suitable for those with asthma and allergies. And now Kenmore has added one more to their family of Certified vacuums!

So what makes Certified vacuums like the Kenmore Elite 81714 a better option for people with asthma and allergies? This vacuum cleaner is scientifically proven to:

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Get Organized Month Is Here, But How Do You Organize Your Asthma and Allergy Management Plan?

1.21.16 Get Organized Month Image MedicationJanuary is Get Organized Month, a.k.a. GO Month, according to the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). And AAFA knows that organization is especially important for those living with asthma and allergies.

I know I don’t need to remind you just how dangerous severe asthmatic and allergic reactions can be. That’s why I’ve put together some tips and tricks to help you “GO” this month when it comes to your asthma and allergies.

Review your medical history. Request your asthma and allergy records, or set an appointment to review them with your doctor. It’s important to recall your history so future treatment can be adjusted as needed.

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Must Read New Year’s Resolutions for Those with Asthma and Allergies

1.7.16 New Years Resolutions Image List of ResolutionsHappy New Year, everyone!

As 2016 rolls in, many of us are thinking about our New Year’s resolutions. We may want to exercise more, eat healthier, or take more “me-time.” But it is important to remember your asthma and allergies play a big role in your quality of life too.

Maybe you’ve had allergies since you were little. Or maybe you are new to living with asthma. Regardless of your situation, take advantage of a new year and make a new life for yourself. A life without limits.

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A Look at 2015’s Newly Certified Products

12.31.15 A Look At 2015 Image New YearAs the New Year rolls in, everyone looks to the future. What will 2016 bring? What are my New Year’s resolutions? How can I make this year better than the last?

But sometimes it is good to look back and reflect as well. In 2015, many products passed our strict tests and are Certified asthma & allergy friendly™. We are thrilled with the variety of products that are made with you in mind. That’s more products and more options for you to create a healthier home this New Year.

Products Certified in 2015

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Robert Kay
Hi, I'm interested to see new products that receive your certification for 2016. I'm particularly interested in water filtration v... Read More
Thursday, 11 February 2016 11:38
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Happy Holidays from Bert

12.24.15 Happy Holidays Image Santa Hat BertHappy Holidays from Bert and the asthma & allergy friendly™ Certification Program team.

 

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Lisa Higdon
Merry Christmas and a Happy Wheeze Free New Year!!
Thursday, 24 December 2015 16:03
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5 Steps to Fighting Seasonal Allergies

12.7.15 5 Steps to Red Seasonal Allergies Image Couple CleaningIf you find yourself using more tissues and sneezing up a storm during certain times of the year, you're not alone. More than 45 million Americans are living with seasonal allergic rhinitis—a.k.a. nasal allergies. For many, allergies that occur seasonally and are mild, but others have allergies so severe it interferes with their day-to-day lives.

"If you have allergies upon exposure to an allergen, such as tree, grass and weed pollen, your immune system incorrectly believes the pollen is an invader. It then overreacts by producing IgE antibodies which ultimately act in releasing certain chemicals such as histamine, responsible for countless unpleasant symptoms such as watery eyes, itchy throat, sneezing and nasal congestion," says Clifford W. Bassett, MD, AAFA Medical-Scientific Council Subcommittee Chair. "Outdoor allergens include pollen and mold spores while indoor allergens involve pet dander, dust mites, and others. The key is to be proactive and see an allergist for proper testing in order to confirm the triggers for your allergy symptoms. Then, you can put an individualized allergy action plan in place."

Dealing with seasonal allergies is a pain, but you shouldn't let it lower your quality of life. Here are a few helpful steps to gaining control of your symptoms:

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Rendalph
What if i would use a humidifier to relieve the allergy?
Thursday, 25 February 2016 08:30
Bert
Humidifiers can help to make rooms more comfortable. Just be sure the humidifier is not redistributing allergens or other bacteri... Read More
Thursday, 25 February 2016 16:38
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A Closer Look at Allergen Testing in the Labs

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America works with Allergy Standards Limited to scientifically test products and services.  These tests make sure products like vacuums, air cleaners, and humidifiers more suitable for families like yours with asthma and allergies.  This video takes a closer look into the labs and facilities where those products are tested against our strict standards!

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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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