Protect-A-Bed’s encasement line achieves AAFA certification

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Protect-A-Bed's Allerzip smooth line of mattress and pillow encasements have been certified as asthma & allergy friendly by the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) following testing at airmid healthgroup.

Protect-A-Bed® is a worldwide leader in mattress protection innovation. The company supplies mattress and pillow protectors to 7 of the 11 top bedding specialists in the United States, several of the top 100 U.S. furniture chains and all of the major distributors in the pest control and hospitality industry. Protect-A-Bed® products are carried by national retailers like J.C. Penney, Macy's and Sears in addition to representation by distributors in 35 countries across the world including a joint venture in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and more recently, opening a distribution in India, Russia and Singapore.

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breathease cleaning products launch in Tesco

tesco-logoTesco have launched a new cleaning range for asthma & allergy sufferers called breathease.  The range was developed by own label supplier Solent Group who engaged with airmid healthgroup to independently test & validate the suitability of the products for asthma and allergy sufferers.   This led to the range becoming the first cleaning products to be accredited by Asthma UK. 

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Solent Group specifically developed the products to support the needs of the 5.4 million people with asthma and the 21 million allergy sufferers in the UK who may have a heightened risk of their symptoms being triggered by existing cleaning products. Recognising the need for independent, third party validation of their product claims, they partnered with airmid healthgroup who provided consultancy advice and carried out rigorous testing on the products to ensure their suitability for asthma and allergy sufferers.  This ultimately led to the products receiving accreditation as asthma & allergy friendly™ by Asthma UK, the UK’s leading asthma charity.

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Fellowes AeraMax™ line of air purifiers certified by the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America

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fellowes-logoThe Fellowes AeraMax™ line of air purifiers has been certified as asthma & allergy friendly™ by the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America following testing at airmid healthgroup.

Fellowes Inc is a globally renowned manufacturer of office products such as paper shredders, binding and laminating equipment, and records storage boxes. Having recognised that indoor air quality is a significant and growing problem in homes and offices, they responded by adding air purifiers to their range of products. As a brand that is committed to delivering the highest quality, they understood the importance of engaging outside expertise to independently test and validate the performance of their latest products. As a result Fellowes collaborated with airmid healthgroup to test their air purifiers against a newly developed asthma & allergy friendly™ Certification standard for Air Cleaners with Hybrid Systems, ASP 08:05.

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airmid tests show APCO Air Purifier reduces bacteria by 98.85% and viruses by 99.03%

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airmid healthgroup, a third-party indoor-air-cleaning device test facility, has released the laboratory test results of a new combination ultraviolet light, activated carbon-media air purification and photocatalytic oxidation device.

The Dublin, Ireland-based airmid healthgroup, an international leader of indoor air quality-equipment testing, successfully demonstrated the APCO air purifier manufactured by Fresh-Aire UV has the capability to both sterilize microorganisms and reduce volatile organic compounds (VOCs). airmid healthgroup reported the APCO's UV light was "highly effective" at inactivating microbes, and that its titanium-dioxide infused carbon media matrix and PCO combination was "capable of reducing high concentrations" of VOCs commonly found in residences and commercial buildings, such as hospitals, hotels, offices and schools.

The UV-C light portion of the study simulated airstream microbe inactivation in an ASTM-/AHAM-style environmental test chamber that simulated a typical building's indoor environment and HVAC air-handler arrangement. A single-pass test was also performed on an ASHRAE Standard 52.2 test duct system.

The test's UV-C light single-pass inactivation results were: bacteria (S. epidermidis)—98.85%; virus (MS2 coliphage)—99.03%;and mold (A. niger)—78.80%.

The test, which simulated the typical indoor HVAC conditions of 73°F (23°C), 55% relative humidity and air-flow velocity of 492 ft/min (0.93m3/sec), was performed on a single pass. Indoor air quality experts claim even higher inactivity rates among the three tested microbes could occur in a multiple-pass environment, such as a typical building HVAC-recirculation unit with an APCO device.

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Stanley Steemer Research Project Announced by airmid healthgroup Coincides with President Obama's Meeting with Irish Prime Minister

Research into indoor health announced during networking event with Irish PM

President Obama had his traditional annual meeting with Irish Prime Minister, Enda Kenny, during a St. Patrick's Day visit in Washington DC. A large number of Irish-American trade related events took place around the visit to highlight the recovery of the Irish economy, with particular focus on the growth of the med-tech and biomedical research sectors with American companies in Ireland.

airmid healthgroup was pleased to be among those attending the events. At a business networking lunch Dr John McKeon, Co-Founder of airmid healthgroup was delighted to introduce Joseph Gargiulo representing Stanley Steemer, to the Prime Minister and announce further research in the area of indoor aerobiology and indoor health. A recent airmid study involving Stanley Steemer was presented at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI). The study found the Stanley Steemer deep cleaning process was proven to remove up to 97 percent of surface allergens. The study evaluated air and surface samples taken before and after hot water extraction in 20 US homes. Additional findings revealed successful removal of 67% of airborne cat allergens as well. “This scientifically confirms what we’ve heard anecdotally from our customers with allergies and asthma for years,” said Justin Bates, president of Stanley Steemer, “and we are excited about moving into phase two of our research.”

This latest round of research is to look at broadening the data as well as developing novel technologies aimed at cleaning for a healthy home. The ultimate objective in phase two is to gain certification by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

“The data from the study is very impressive and validates the need for people to understand what a thorough cleaning can accomplish for asthma and allergy sufferers,” said Dr John McKeon, Co-Founder of airmid healthgroup, an independent biomedical research organization working with a number of US companies. “We are delighted to make this announcement today as Stanley Steemer is at the forefront of research in this crucial health focused consumer issue."

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airmid healthgroup Reveals Up To 97% Allergen Reduction in Carpets and Furnishings

European research company study shows effectiveness of cleaning process in reducing allergen levels.

DUBLIN, February 25, 2013 – airmid healthgroup, a biomedical research organization specializing in aerobiology, today announced the results of a recent breakthrough study in domestic allergen reduction in carpets and soft furnishings. The study demonstrated that a proprietary hot water extraction process used with a commercial truck-mounted cleaner delivered up to 97 percent allergen reduction. The results will be presented at the 2013 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) annual meeting this week in San Antonio, Texas.

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, approximately 50 million Americans – one in five – suffer from allergies. Approximately 40 million have indoor/outdoor allergies as their primary allergy. airmid’s environmental specialists have devoted significant resources to studying indoor allergens, and this most recent study of carpets and the indoor environment is the third to be released by airmid within the past year, including research presented at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology last November.

“Our goal at airmid is to identify and evaluate situations where indoor air quality is a concern, and then work with corporate household names to provide the best possible solution,” said Dr. Bruce Mitchell, CEO airmid healthgroup. “Since bio-contaminants in indoor air represent a growing worldwide problem, we have placed particular emphasis on finding solutions to lower the levels of indoor allergens and microbiological exposures.”

Recently, airmid healthgroup undertook a study in Dublin, Ohio for Stanley Steemer, one of the largest professional deep cleaning companies. Twenty US homes were assessed to measure the impact of the company’s proprietary hot water extraction technology on levels of surface allergen in both carpets and soft furnishings. The study also assessed whether a reduction in airborne bio-aerosol exposure was possible.

Results show that the proprietary hot water extraction cleaning process was highly effective in reducing allergen levels in carpets and soft furnishings. Surface levels of dust mite allergens on carpets, for example, were reduced by 91 percent, of cat allergen by 95 percent, and of dog allergen by 97 percent. The cleaning process also resulted in a marked reduction in airborne cat allergen exposure. The process also effectively reduced exposure to airborne mold. These findings were paralleled by a reduction in airborne particle counts during room disturbance on three different used carpets in an environmental test chamber. Average total airborne particles were 78, 37 and 65 percent less in the presence of carpet samples that had undergone the hot water extraction cleaning process than in the presence of un-cleaned carpet samples.

“What we’ve shown is that effective cleaning plays an important part in the maintenance of good air quality, regardless of whether a room has hard floors or carpeting,” said Dr. Mitchell. “This proprietary hot water-based extraction cleaning process is very effective at reducing the levels of harmful bio-contaminants. To maintain the healthiest environment for occupants, we recommend hot water extraction cleaning two to three times per year and vacuuming at regular intervals.”

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airmid to attend the 2012 Annual General Meeting of the European Down and Feather Association in Dublin

airmid will attend the 2012 Annual General Meeting of the European Down and Feather Association (EDFA) in Dublin.

The purpose of the EDFA is to promote the interests of the European producers of bed feathers and down and producers of ready-made articles filled or processed from feathers and down, as well as their quality. In addition, it pursues the targets of making a contribution towards promoting fair business dealings and transactions, of informing its members of European quality regulations, and of encouraging the compliance with such regulations.

Topics to be covered during the two day meeting included will include Nomite™ and using social media for marketing. Dr J. Hedderich, Business manager of EDFA will also present a literature review on dust mite allergies related to natural fill pillows and quoted several recent studies including that Dr Horst Müsken from Bad Lippspringe .

airmid looks forward to playing an active role in the organisation in the future by bringing its aerobiology and biomedical contract research expertise to the members.

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Tarkett FiberFloor® gains certification for healthy indoor air

tarkett-logoFollowing a series of real time biomedical studies and aerobiological research by airmid's world leading environmental specialists, the flooring giant Tarkett has achieved a coveted health related certification. Tarkett FiberFloor is now Certified asthma & allergy friendly™ by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) for both loose-lay (no glue) and adhered (glue-down) applications.

Much of the research centred around allergen removal validation studies in indoor climate controlled environmental test chambers.

During the floor certification process, the products were subjected to both physical and chemical tests to ensure they do not have properties that are likely to irritate both asthma and allergy symptoms in susceptible people - including low capacity for allergen retention, and low VOCs off gassing.

It is estimated that Americans spends over 90% of their time indoors and according to the EPA, the level of exposure to chemicals indoors can be five times greater than outdoors. Poor Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is considered a leading factor for asthma and allergies symptoms.

Over 60 million people in the United States, nearly one out of five Americans, are affected by asthma and allergies. The number has doubled in the past 30 years and continues to grow.

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airmid Expands Microbiological Testing Services

airmid healthgroup has announced today that it is expanding its range of microbiological services in the area of antimicrobial surface activity and biocidal efficacy. This follows on from the recent success of airmid’s antimicrobial surface testing, which was showcased at the European Innovation Convention.

Antimicrobial surface technology has received growing media attention in recent years. Due to the increase in nosocomial infections and the requirement for infection control in commonly contaminated areas, such technologies are valued for their contribution to the control of infectious diseases. The ability to coat commonly used indoor surfaces such as textiles, plastics and ceramics is also broadening the applicability of the technology to sectors such as airline travel, cleanroom facilities and sports facilities. It must be stressed however that there are potential pitfalls that may be encountered when scaling up such technology from bench studies to the environment in which it is intended to be used. Possible difficulties include reduced efficacy due to coverage issues with the coating, deterioration of the surface activity over time, or the removal of the coating following conventional washing.

airmid healthgroup, a specialist in the area of indoor air biocontamination and antimicrobial testing, has a particular expertise in looking at these issues. airmid can carry out a number of internationally recognised test methods related to this area including ISO 27447, ISO 22196, and ISO 20743. Testing in line with standard protocols may well be required for national and international regulatory bodies or technical and legal compliance centres. However, airmid also has the ability to modify these tests to the requirements of our clients by varying experimental conditions such as the exposure time, concentrations, or types of organisms used. Furthermore, airmid can support laboratory-based research by scaling up a project into their world class environmental test chambers and through to beta testing actual products at locations where they are designed to be used.

John Fallon, PhD, who heads up the microbiology testing laboratory said airmid is uniquely placed to support the product development process because "we have the ability to carry out testing from the bench top in the lab, to testing in an environmental chamber and then on to environmental field trials."

The antimicrobial testing and consultative modifications are available now.

For more information call +3531 6336820

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airmid healthgroup Attends 11th World Filtration Congress in Austria

Air Filtration & Biomedical research representatives from airmid healthgroup will be attending the 11th World Filtration Congress in Austria during the week of the 16th-20th April. The Congress will be held in Graz, a Unesco World Heritage Site. Key aerobiology topics will undoubtedly be centred on airmid’s innovative techniques that identify, evaluate and address the potential hazardous nature of airborne pathogens, biological aerosols and ultrafine particles.

With core expertise in the area of preventing ill health due to indoor air pollutants, airmid healthgroup scientists apply their skills to evaluate the complex interactions of biological, chemical and physical properties associated with consumer products, and provide customers with a complete solution for healthy living and label claim validation.

“It is concerning that the emission of ultrafine particles, even from products with HEPA filtration, results in consumers being exposed to bacterial fragments and other noxious particulate materials”, said Dr Bruce Mitchell, Chairman at airmid healthgroup. “However, it is of no surprise given the composition of household dust can include bacteria, viruses, mold and toxins. Of course, exposure has the capacity to induce ill-health”!

Most microorganisms are of sub-micron particulate size. When dust in a room is disturbed, these particles can remain airborne for days at a time. Recirculation of the contaminated air serves to augment exposure and hence potential infectivity. Ultrafine particle exposure may be further increased by microorganism contamination of the unit with growth of viruses, bacteria and molds.

airmid healthgroup is a unique vertically integrated facility which combines molecular biology with state-of-the-art air sampling and particle counting in highly sophisticated environmental test chambers. Availing of such facilities, airmid healthgroup can follow nominated viruses, bacteria, molds and other toxic ultrafine particles as they become airborne and are distributed throughout the chamber. Our clients include the international standards body, Allergy Standards Ltd, who list Dyson, LG and Rabbit Air in their programs.

It is inevitable that media attention will continue to focus on negative health implications associated with ultrafine particles. airmid healthgroup, through applied research in microbiology, molecular biology, and aerobiology offers companies the opportunity to proactively address these issues.

 

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airmid healthgroup Helps Spring Air Develop World’s First asthma & allergy friendly Certified Mattress

More than 60 million American adults and children live with asthma or allergies, which are chronic respiratory diseases characterized by sneezing, wheezing, coughing and difficulty breathing. Bedrooms, beds – and mattresses in particular – can be major sources of asthma and allergy triggers, since they often harbour dust mites, pet dander, irritating chemicals and gases, and more. So it’s no surprise that patients frequently report night-time symptoms, difficulty sleeping, and morning congestion as some of their most common frustrations.

Now, the world’s first Certified asthma & allergy friendly™ mattress has been designed thanks to a successful research & development partnership between Spring Air and airmid healthgroup. airmid provided advanced research & design advice during the prototype and commercialization stages for Spring Air’s new-generation of Breathe™ mattresses.

THE RIGHT PARTNER
airmid’s unique research and scientific experience provided Spring Air with the capabilities and knowledge to manufacture a set of mattresses that could receive asthma & allergy friendly™ certification by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), the first certification of its kind for a mattress.

Spring Air, a leading US brand of mattresses, wished to continue their company tradition of innovative product positioning. Partnering with airmid healthgroup, an ISO 17025:2005 accredited testing laboratory for house dust mite allergen (Der p 1), they undertook a research and development project to construct a better product that would achieve certification.

THE BEST SCIENCE
The mattress development project focused on making the sleep environment more suitable for people with asthma and allergies. airmid used controlled environmental chambers and state of the art analytical technology and applied a three-stage testing process:

  • Stage 1 – Barrier Function of Encasing Materials
  • Stage 2 – Component Emission Testing
  • Stage 3 – Real-Time Allergen Testing on Constructed Product

"Since 1926, Spring Air has marketed innovative mattresses and sleep sets to the US consumer’” said Rick Robinson, President at Spring Air. “Today, our investment in ground-breaking research with our partner airmid healthgroup provides us a new and superior ability to develop even better products to make the bedroom healthier.”

“We’re excited to partner with a progressive company like Spring Air, and play a role in their efforts to innovate products with technological and marketing advantages,” said Dr. Bruce Mitchell, CEO at airmid healthgroup. “They join a growing list of successful companies that have leveraged our chamber and integrated analytical facilities and resources to provide their customers with the highest quality products.”

The certified matrasses are already available through the Costco web site.

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