Last week the Asthma & Allergy Friendly Certification Program was in town for Home Fashions Market Week, 2009. [Disclosure: I have a long standing relationship with AAFA and the Asthma & Allergy Friendly Certification Program. It's an allergy-friendly love fest.]
I had an opportunity to talk with Asthma & Allergy Friendly Certification Program and Allergy Standards Limited about their new products (paint and flooring, air purifiers and new Disney plush toys) and meet the Dublin team behind Allergy Standards Limited, the home group for the Asthma & Allergy Friendly Certification Program here in the United States.
(From the Asthma & Allergy Friendly Certification Program website: The asthma & allergy friendly™ Certification Program, administered by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) in partnership with the international research organization Allergy Standards Limited (ASL), is an independent program created to scientifically test and identify consumer products that are more suitable for people with asthma and allergies.)
Dr. John McKeon, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer told me about the origins of Allergy Standards Limited. When he was an ER doc back in Dublin, he overheard a nurse talking to a mother of a newly diagnosed allergic child. He heard the nurse tell the mother to avoid certain contaminants in the home (along with utilizing common sense cleaning measures and medications) and he heard the mother say, “...but toys aren’t labeled with formaldehyde content or phtalates? How will I know which ones to get?” Thus, the idea of creating a certification standard, a mark that would indicate toys and other items safe for the allergic community, was born.
Allergy Standards Limited and Asthma & Allergy Friendly Certification Program is expanding and growing quickly, but what they need is us. We need to start asking for these products at the large retailers (Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Kmart, Walmart, Bloomingdales etc..) because the more we ask (i.e. demand) safe allergy-free products, the more the market will rise to meet those demands.
So, speak up to your local retailers; tell them you want better, safer, allergy-friendly home products and in time they will stock them.