Textile Industry Transformed by Unique Allergen Barrier Test

Dublin, Ireland, May 31st, 2011

A unique textile allergen barrier test that overcomes the shortcomings of many existing industry test methods, is now available from airmid healthgroup.

The tendency for many retailers & manufacturers to rely on pore size and thread count to demonstrate a fabrics’ ability to block allergens can be very misleading. Pore size only loosely correlates with allergen filtration efficacy and there are a number of factors that contribute to this including van der Waals forces and allergen conformation. A high thread count fabric may also be poorly constructed, allowing the passage of allergens.

However, retailers & textile manufacturers can now validate their allergen claims with the Allergen Barrier Test with Airflow, a unique test by airmid healthgroup. This test provides extremely accurate and repeatable results, through utilising house dust with a known concentration of Dust Mite & Cat Allergen (Der p 1 & Fel d 1 respectively), which is pulled across a fabric by airflow. Located downstream a filter collects any allergen that passes through. The amount of allergen recovered on the filter is extracted and quantified using an ELISA kit specific for different types of allergens.

airmid healthgroup is a physician-founded research facility whose gold standard science is accepted by leading non-profit asthma & allergy foundations in both North America and Europe. Founded in 2007, the company has already proved an invaluable product development partner to the world’s leading bedding & textile companies. With core expertise in the area of preventing ill health due to indoor air pollutants, airmid scientists apply their skills to evaluate complex interactions of biological, chemical and physical properties associated with textiles, providing customers with a complete solution for a healthy indoor environment and label claim validation.

“Results generated by the Allergen Barrier Test with Airflow allows manufacturers and retailers to directly claim allergen blocking ability for fabrics against a number of allergens accurately and repeatedly” said Fraser Hodgson, Chief Operations Officer at airmid healthgroup. “Our unique research techniques and third-party testing provides proactive companies with innovative information to achieve technological and marketing advantages”.

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Specialist Team Continues to Grow

We are delighted to announce that Noelle Dromgoole has recently joined our multidisciplinary team. Noelle has responsibility for the occupational hygiene and workplace environmental monitoring for airmid healthgroup ltd's health friendly air™ programme and develops and delivers tailored quality indoor air sampling strategies for enclosed settings. Following a science degree in Environmental Health in Dublin Institute of Technology, Noelle went on to complete a Masters in Occupational Health & Safety & Ergonomics in the National University of Ireland, Galway.

Noelle is a valuable new addition to the team and will enhance our unique integrated response to preventing ill health caused by exposure to indoor air pollutants through assessment of the quality of air in all enclosed spaces. The airmid healthgroup ltd, health friendly air™ programme provides specialist, health based indoor air testing and consultancy services for workplaces, homes, hospitals, schools, museums and retail outlets.

Our occupational hygienists test with state of the art equipment, samples are analysed in advanced environmental laboratories and results are interpreted in the context of possible adverse health effects. We then deliver a comprehensive report. Our integrated approach sets us apart in our testing and reporting capabilities and positions us as a premier consultancy with regards to analysing indoor environmental quality. The programme helps ensure
optimum health, productivity and legal compliance.

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Program Reports Great Success from Green Living Show 2011

Toronto, Canada, April 2011
The asthma & allergy friendly™ Canada Certification Program team have just finished unloading from the Green Living Show 2011 in Toronto.  The event was a huge success which saw the team meet with thousands of Canadian consumers interested in improving their home lives with both health and green products and services.

greenThe show, which lasted three days, exhibited a wide range of companies from the green and health and wellness sectors and gave consumers the chance to talk to the Certification Program team and experts from the Asthma Society of Canada, as well as product demonstrators from SmartSilk™ and Dyson.

The asthma & allergy friendly™ Certification Program received great interest and gathered some extremely valuable feedback from those suffering with or caring for those with asthma and allergies.

“The response we received from those who visited our booth was remarkable,” said Program Manager Andrea Richardson, “we were so pleased to use this platform to spread the message of the Certification Program and the Asthma Society of Canada to those looking to manage their asthma and allergies, not to mention the people we spoke to who were simply  looking to make their home lives more healthy in general.   The show was so impressive overall and we were proud to be a part of it.”

The booth also gave visitors the chance to win a Dyson vacuum cleaner and a night in a Montreal hotel and the winners are due to be announced over the coming days.

The asthma & allergy friendly™ Certification Program team would like to take this opportunity to thank all involved in the booth and all who visited it over the three days.  Also, make sure to check back to our news room and find out more on the success of the booth and the competition winners!

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asthma & allergy friendly™ Certification Program Stages First-Time Presence At The 2011 Green Living Show In Toronto

TORONTO, Canada and Dublin, Ireland, April 14, 2011—At this weekend’s Green Living Show in Toronto, the asthma & allergy friendly™ Certification Program [Certification Program], a partnership between Ireland’s Allergy Standards Limited (ASL) and the Asthma Society of Canada, will provide visitors with the latest on asthma and allergy research and solutions.  The show is the largest green consumer event dedicated to educating consumers on practical solutions for sustainable lifestyles.

The Certification Program will co-host a booth with clients Smartsilk Corp., a manufacturer of all-natural silk-filled luxury and wellness bedding products, and Dyson Canada Ltd., a worldwide leader in the vacuum cleaner sector.  Both clients will offer demonstrations of their certified asthma and allergy-friendly™ products.  Also at the booth will be certified asthma educators and experts from the ASC who will offer tips on strategies to promote allergen-free lifestyles.

greenThe Toronto event is the latest in a series of North American initiatives for the Certification Program and its parent, ASL.  Just last month, the Program’s partner research facility, airmid healthgroup, signed an R&D partnership with bedding product leader, Spring Air.

“Given the rising prevalence of asthma and allergies, there’s great demand from consumers for quality information and products that can help them avoid an often-debilitating condition,” said Andrea Richardson, Certification Program Manager.  “We’re pleased to share our knowledge and expertise with Canadian consumers at this year’s show.  And we’re glad to team with SmartSilk and Dyson—manufacturers that leverage state-of-the-art technologies to bring allergen-free products to their customers.”

ASL’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr John McKeon, stressed the importance of the Certification Program’s developments and their relevance to Green Living Show visitors, “Now more than ever, as bedrooms and homes are sealed to maximize energy efficiency, it’s critical that the products we use are optimized to create the healthiest indoor air environments possible.”

Visitors to the booth can compete to win a certified Dyson vacuum cleaner or a night at a top Montréal hotel.

The Green Living Show runs from April 15-17, at the Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place, Toronto.  Visitors can speak with Certification Program experts at booth number 2140.

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Ground breaking airmid Research to be presented at European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology

Angela SoutheyCongratulations to Dr Angela Southey as the Scientific Programme Committee of the 30th Congress of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology have invited Angela to present her research A new method for assessing feather and down serum protein contamination for presentation at the 30th Congress of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, to be held in Istanbul, Turkey on 11-15 June 2011.

The theme of Dr Southey’s paper follows two years of research in the concept that asthma and allergy sufferers are not necessarily hypersensitive to Feather and Down, but rather to the accumulated mites and serum proteins. Angela’s new investigation addresses effective removal tactics and verification of these accumulated antigens

Dr Southey heads up our Virology Laboratory and Environmental Testing Chambers and has also been working on specialist augmented immunoassay techniques and the research on bird serum proteins.

Angela qualified with a BSc. in Microbiology from UCC, before going on to complete a PhD in Lung Fibrosis in UCD. She then spent two years working in Japan on Ulcerative Colitis with Tanabe Seiyaku Ltd. Returning to Ireland she took up a senior research position in the Veterinary College, UCD followed by extensive industry experience in the diagnostic area with Wyeth Biopharma and Abbott Diagnostics.

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Irish Group position themselves at the forefront of trends in environmental medicine

Business_Finance_Apr2011-1In response to growing concerns about the effect of poor quality indoor air on health, a group of Irish clinicians established airmid healthgroup in 2007. Advanced scientific testing facilities were designed and constructed and a unique multidisciplinary team of medical specialists, occupational health and hygiene specialists and experienced scientists were assembled to achieve the group mission of preventing ill health caused by exposure to indoor air pollutants.

airmid healthgroup have constructed a number of advanced environmental chambers that allow them to mimic indoor building environments and provide repeatable data on the effect the product being tested has on indoor air quality and thus on building occupants' health. 

The scientific testing services are engaged by a wide range of product manufacturers to provide independent ‘real-life’ verification of claims regarding clearance of allergens, bacteria, viruses and moulds.

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Health & Safety Review feature airmid's Health Friendly Air division

Health and Safety ReviewSore throats, headaches, dizziness, lack of concentration and fatigue are among the warning signs which should alert employers to the fact that poor indoor air quality may be adversely affecting their employees' health. While compliance with the law is fundamental, the objective is to prevent exposure.

That prompts the question: how does the employer become aware of exposure? Employers should have identified the potential hazards and carried out a risk assessment, but in doing so may not have identified indoor air quality as a hazard.

But as Caitriona O'Donovan, general manager of airmid healthgroup's Health Friendly AirTM division, points out "ignorance is no defence against a claim or a prosecution". The threat of litigation, resulting from poor quality air, can result in "a risk of major financial liability for employers".

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R&D Announcement made for airmid healthgroup during Irish Prime Minister St. Patrick's Day 2011 Trip to Meet with US President

Barack Obama and Enda KennyWashington DC, USA, March 2011


The newly elected Irish Prime Minister, Enda Kenny made his first St. Patrick's Day visit to the US to meet with President Obama in Washington DC.  Various trade events took place over the visit and the trip was reported to be a huge success overall.

Allergy Standards Ltd (ASL) were pleased to be among those attending an event on March 17th in the Fairmont Hotel.  At this event the CEO of ASL, John McKeon, and the Sales Manager of the USA asthma & allergy friendly™ Certification Program, Michael Breshgold, were delighted to meet with the Prime Minister and take the opportunity to announce an exciting new development for Allergy Standards Ltd involving Spring Air International LLC.  Rick Robinson, President of Spring Air, was also happy to be present for the announcement.

Spring Air announced embarking upon a research and development project with airmid healthgroup ltd, a vertically integrated biotechnology innovation and research company dealing with indoor air health solutions across a number of areas. The airmid healthgroup ltd world class facilities span a wide aspect of disciplines all relevant to indoor particulate contaminants, ranging from virology, microbiology, mycology, endotoxin, allergen and including dust mite and bed bug research.

Following completion of the research phase Spring Air International LLC hope to enter the asthma & allergy friendly™ Certification Program in the USA.

airmid team and Enda Kenny

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World Leading Authority in Healthy Bedding Product Development will change the Bed Bug & Feather & Down Markets with New Research

Dublin, Ireland March 8th 2011

airmid healthgroup, a world leading authority in New Product Research targeting Healthy Sleeping, has developed two market changing test methods. This new research ensures bedding products aimed at either the bed bug market or constructed from Feather and Down are guaranteed safe, efficacious and healthy when tested by this accredited consultant laboratory.

“Some laboratories specialise in biological products such as insects and feathers, while others specialise in chemical and physical analysis of bedding textiles” says Fraser Hodgson, Chief Operation Officer at airmid healthgroup. “We are a physician founded laboratory, uniquely positioned to advise companies looking for technological and marketing advantages. We specialise in the complex interactions of biological, chemical and physical properties of bedding products and their components, guaranteeing a complete solution in healthy sleeping and label claim validation”.

Recent international research data shows asthma & allergy sufferers are not necessarily hypersensitive to Feather & Down, but rather accumulated dust mites & serum protein. airmid healthgroup’s new research addresses effective removal techniques of these accumulated antigens.  

Bed Bug infestations have increased dramatically over the last 5 years both in North America and Europe. The limited amount of research into the effectiveness of bedding products against bed bugs is varied. airmid healthgroup’s test methodologies utilise real-time bed bug challenges in temperature and humidity controlled chambers.

“Our research developments in healthy sleeping are unsurpassed”, says Dr Bruce Mitchell, CEO of airmid healthgroup. “Many global leaders in the bedding industry have already partnered with us as an extension to their existing in-house capabilities, providing them with a health guarantee for consumers & retailers through validating relevant label claims”.

airmid healthgroup will be attending New York Home Fashions Market week (13-18 March) to share with industry leaders their recent research.

At airmid healthgroup ltd our mission is to prevent ill health caused by exposure to indoor air pollutants. To achieve this goal we have assembled a unique multidisciplinary team of Clinicians, Industrial Hygienists, Occupational Health Advisers, and Specialist Laboratory Scientists in Mycology, Virology, Bacteriology, Allergy and Immunology.

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