AAFA’s Asthma & Allergy Friendly® Certification Program
Many products promise to help control allergens. But some products make false or exaggerated claims. This makes it hard for consumers to know the best products to buy.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) joined with Allergy Standards Limited (ASL) to create the asthma & allergy friendly® Certification Program. This program helps patients to understand product claims and make informed purchases. We test household products against strict standards. If products pass our tests, they earn the asthma & allergy friendly® Certification Mark. When you see this mark, you know the product is proven to be better suited for those with asthma and allergies.
Why Do People With Asthma and Allergies Need Certified Products?
Reducing exposure to triggers and allergens is critical to controlling asthma and allergy symptoms. There are many products that claim to help improve indoor air quality and reduce your exposure to asthma and allergy triggers. But there is no regulation on how a product can be labeled “hypoallergenic.” The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says, “There are no Federal standards or definitions that govern the use of the term ‘hypoallergenic.’ The term means whatever a particular company wants it to mean.”
Just because a product is labeled as hypoallergenic, it doesn’t mean it is. Not every company tests their products to make sure they support that claim. And because of that, we need asthma and allergy friendly products and services backed by science, not marketing. People with asthma and allergies need the term to be backed by science. Their health depends on it.
This is why the asthma & allergy friendly® Certification Program is based on science. Products and services are tested in independent laboratories to see if they meet our strict scientific standards. If they pass all tests, they earn our certification mark to help consumers identify better choices for a healthier home.
What Standards Do You Use to Certify Products?
An independent medical panel helps us decide the ideals a product must meet to be Certified. We test products based on their approved standards. We set specific standards for each product type. We follow these steps to create a standard for a product:
- AAFA and ASL conduct market research and listen to feedback from AAFA’s asthma and allergy community about consumers’ needs.
- ASL reviews scientific research, clinical studies, related national and international standards and best practices.
- ASL conducts experimental product testing.
- ASL develops the standard for the product category, including strict criteria to which any products will be tested.
- AAFA’s independent medical scientific council reviews the proposed standard and provides expert feedback.
- The standard is sent to the board of directors for AAFA and ASL for review and approval.
Once the standards are set, we begin the testing process. We start by reviewing products and companies to see if their products are a good fit for the asthma & allergy friendly® Certification Program. Companies send their products to independent labs for testing. ASL manages the testing process to ensure strict guidelines are followed.
Products must pass every test required in the standard in order to qualify for asthma & allergy friendly® Certification. Each CERTIFIED product has a certificate, a unique certification code, and the asthma & allergy friendly® mark.
How Do I Find asthma & allergy friendly® Certified Products?
Visit the asthma & allergy friendly® Certification Program site to find a list of Certified products, including:
- Air cleaners
- Air filters
- Cleaning products
- Vacuum cleaners
Also, look for the asthma & allergy friendly® mark on products when shopping.