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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.

5 Allergens and Triggers That Could be Hiding in Your College Dorm Room

5 allergens and triggers that could be hiding in your college dorm room2

If you are starting college this fall, congratulations! This is an exciting time with your future ahead of you. But as you enroll in classes, learn your way around campus and make new friends, have you stopped to plan to make your dorm room ready for your asthma or allergies?

1. Dust Mites
Dust mites make terrible roommates. They like to make you itch, sniffle and sneeze, and maybe even wheeze if you have allergic asthma. You probably have a lot of these tiny, yet pesky, creatures in a dorm room. They are probably hanging out in the carpets, mattresses, curtains and under furniture.

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4 Ways to Avoid Asthma and Allergy Triggers When Vacationing in a Summer Rental

4 Ways to Avoid Asthma and Allergy Triggers When Vacationing in a Summer Rental

Vacation is a chance to escape from your normal routine. But it may not be an escape from asthma and allergy triggers.
If you are staying in a summer rental home, cabin or condo, here are tips to make it more asthma & allergy friendly®.

  1. Before you book, consider your allergies and what features and policies may work best for you. For example, if you are allergic to pet dander, look for a rental with a no-pet policy. Browse through the rental’s photos. Is there wall-to-wall carpeting? You’ll want to look for a rental that has tile, laminate or hardwood floors.
  2. Bring your own bedding. There’s a good chance your rental won’t have Certified asthma & allergy friendly® mattress and pillow covers to keep dust mites under control. And rental comforters and blankets don’t get washed often, making them a haven for dust mites.
  3. Replace the rental’s air filter with an allergen-reducing filter. Ask for the size of the filter when you book, or run to the store after you check in. Many of our Certified filters can be found at national retail stores. It will help reduce allergens in the rental, as well as filter outside allergens and triggers like tobacco smoke and pollen. You may want to bring your own Certified air cleaner.
  4. Clean the rental with Certified cleaning products. Cleaning crews only have a short time to clean a rental to prepare for the next guests. So they may miss areas where allergens can hide. Check in as early as possible and take a few moments to clean the rental before you unload your car. If someone in your party doesn’t have asthma and allergies, ask them to clean while you wait outside.

While many managers of vacation rentals do their best to give you a clean, comfortable place to relax, they aren’t always thinking about asthma and allergies. Their rental probably isn’t equipped with Certified asthma & allergy friendly® products, scientifically proven to reduce allergens and triggers. But with a few simple steps at the start of your vacation, you can focus more on relaxing and less on allergies and asthma.

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Congressman Brendan Boyle Supports Resolution to Recognize May as National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

Congressman Brendan Boyle, representing Pennsylvania’s 13th congressional district, has expressed that he will support the designation of May as “National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month,” a commitment that has been shared by various members of congress including Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter, Congressman Eliot Engel, and Congressman Gregg Harper.

Congressman Boyle has continuously been a supporter of the asthma & allergy friendly® Certification Program and in 2016 awarded the CEO of Allergy Standards, Dr. John McKeon, a congressional citation as congratulations for reaching the 10th year anniversary of the Program. He has also pledged support and involvement with various healthy home initiatives that the asthma & allergy friendly® Certification Program is planning with its client partners to raise awareness and education in managing asthma and allergy triggers.

The awareness and support of Congress will be instrumental to educate and inform the millions of Americans affected by asthma and allergies on effective treatment and management of ‘triggers’ which are most commonly found in the home environment. The designation of May as National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month will help the certification program partners build a platform for messaging around this issue in 2018 and beyond.

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

tackle asthma

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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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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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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