Allergy and Asthma Awareness Month Line-Up – The Balancing Act

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , /

We’re having a good time this morning.
Welcome to The Balancing Act. As you can tell, it’s a good
morning for us. I’m Julie Moran.
And I’m Olga Villaverde. Alright today we continue our
special series with the Asthma and Allergy Foundation, how to
create an allergen free home, which is so cool.
Indeed, because May is Kids with Food Allergies month, so we’re
in the kitchen with some gluten free recipes for kids, and the
entire family. And when it comes to cleaning up
the kitchen, we’ve got some new technology.
I want you to know there’s a stat that in a dirty sponge on
your sink there are 200,000 times more bacteria on it than
your toilet seat. That’s disgusting!
But, not with this sponge, because this sponge, look at
this, bacteria doesn’t grow on this.
I’m going to introduce you to the sponge, and the man behind
it today on the show. Okay, I’ll give this to the man
in my house and that’s my husband.
It all starts right now. Stay with us.
(music). Wheezing, sneezing, and trouble
breathing. Well, while it might rhyme,
there is nothing cute about it. Especially if you’re one of the
60 million Americans suffering from asthma and allergies, and
the biggest causes may be sitting right under your nose.
Okay, allergy awareness month is in full swing and right on cue.
Michelle Casallia is here with some tips to make our homes more
asthma and allergy friendly. So, Michelle, welcome.
Thank you. What’s wrong with our homes??
I’m just kidding. (laughter).
What are some of the things we can do to make our homes more
friendly to these allergens and asthma problems?
Well, 60% of all people who have asthma also have allergies.
Okay. Asthma and allergies are
triggered by allergens and irritants that we can find in
the home. Some examples of allergens can
be found in our drapes, in our bedrooms, in pillows, wall to
wall carpeting. Sure.
Examples of allergens can be mold, mildew, pet dander,
pollen, roaches. Irritants can be found also in
our home, in paints, in chemicals, in cleaning products.
Some examples also include tobacco smoke, fireplace smoke,
carbon monoxide, so you really have to be careful.
Well, it makes me want to go through my whole home and just
Martinize it. Well, how can we decrease these
allergies and irritants? I mean, where do we start?
Well, a great place to start is the Asthma and Allergy
Foundation of America, which is the largest, oldest, non-profit
patient organization in the world.
It’s a wonderful resource. It’s a one-stop shop for all of
your asthma and allergy needs. Wow.
Okay, take me through, I’ve done a lot of building and
remodeling. What should I think about if I
do that again? Okay, well there’s three
categories. If you go to our website at, and you go to our certifcation program. Yes.
Going there. Yes, we have an asthma allergy
friendly certification program, and guide, which is a wonderful
resource. In this guide, they break it
down into three categories. Okay.
Building and remodeling, second is outfitting your home, and
third is cleaning your home. Starting off with building and
remodeling, a couple red flags come up.
Especially if you have somebody in your family that is dealing
with and living with allergies and asthma.
If you are building and remodeling a home, you want to
try and avoid, if possible, plywood.
If you can, try to avoid wall to wall carpeting and kind of go
with hardwood floors. But if you can’t, you can go to
our website and find fabulous certified friendly steamer
cleaner. Right.
You want to keep your humidity levels below 50%.
Also, if you’re thinking about buying a new heating and
ventilation system, you want to make sure that you buy a
certified HEPA filter. One that can be replaced or
washable. Good to know.
Now, what about if you’re outfitting your home.
I’m always out there looking for the right things to buy.
What can help me? Okay, if you’re out and about
shopping to outfit your home, you want to check out our guide
first. Okay.
You want to get familiar with our seal.
Your seal? Yes.
We have a seal. An allergy asthma friendly
certification seal, and you know with that seal that product or
service has been scientifically tested, put through rigorous
testing in a laboratory, and you can trust that product or
service is made asthma and allergy friendly.
So, if I see that seal, I know it’s been tested.
I know I can put it in my home and feel good about it.
Absolutely. Great!
Alright, now there are certain types of products that are
irritants too as we clean our home.
What can we do about those? Yes, a lot of irritants can be
found in cleaning products, also in dusting products, so you want
to take a look. You can go to the guide and see
which ones, for example, cleaning supplies like Endust,
trap the actual dust and particles, and they don’t seep
out. You can go and check out some of
our asthma allergy friendly certified vacuum cleaners.
Okay. Okay, we offer different paints
that have been certified, different pillows, mattress pads
that keep out all of those dustmites and moisture.
That’s such great information, because when you’re shopping,
you can look for that AAFA seal, that certification there, and
you can feel safe about what you’re buying.
I didn’t know that before today. That’s such an excellent tip.
It’s a fantastic guide and program that you can find on our
website. Oh Michelle, thank you so much
for being on the show, and I know you’re also appearing on
Designing Spaces. I am.
I’m going to watch for that. Thank you so much.
Alright, in the meantime, you can log on to and for all this great info, and don’t forget to
follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
(music). May, as we’ve mentioned, is
National Kids with Food Allergies month.
Joining the discussion to help kids and parents lessen
allergies is Cassandra Shippin, general manager for Flax4Life, a
company dedicated to gluten-free products.
Good morning. Good morning.
Welcome! Nice to be here, thank you.
It’s amazing how many kids today have allergies and I’ve got to
be honest, I’ll have children come over for playdates and
point blank, I start asking anybody, do you have an allergy,
and you know sometimes half of them raise their hands.
It’s really serious, isn’t it? It really is incredible the
amount of allergies and things that are around nowadays for
children. What are the top ones?
Peanut? Peanut, I would say gluten, soy,
dairy, nuts of other kinds. There are lots of different
allergies that are out there. Lots of parents are concerned,
and I know one who is always right on top of it with her
daughter and really concerned that she eats correctly, because
it affects her digestive system. What is Flax4Life doing to help
that? We are helping design products
that are easy and manageable for parents that are good for kids,
but most of all that they taste great.
Taste is the most important thing.
You can’t feed gluten free cardboard to anybody, so we’ve
designed products that number one, taste good, but number two
are filled with flax, so you’re not just getting empty calories.
You’re getting Omega 3, you’re getting fiber, you’re getting
proteins. We have a great display, where
do you want to go first? Well let’s start with the
birthday cakes. I just celebrated a birthday, so
there you go. Our design is all natural, which
is great, because the many situations.
You know, kids will have birthdays at school.
You know, your daughter wants to go and join in, but you can’t.
This is a nice option. We don’t all have time to bake a
cake every night, so it’s great. You go to the store, you pick it
up. All natural.
All natural sprinkles. Now your child has an option to
bring something to school. Excellent.
Our brownies are great. They’re bite-sized, loaded with
flax, loaded witih fiber, loaded witih protein.
You can feel good about putting in a little treat for your kids
for a snack, and they’re still going to like it.
It’s going to get eaten, and it tastes good.
We have muffins. 10 grams of fiber.
10 grams of protein. 5000 mg of Omega 3s per muffin.
Let’s talk about the Omega 3s. Really important for the body
and you can get them right here with Flax4Life.
Yeah. Flax is a great source for Omega
3. It’s great for your cardio
health, it’s great for your heart.
Lots of benefits from flax. There’s cancer fighting
attributes. There’s all kinds of different
ways you can go with the benefits for it.
So really a lot of great options for parents who are struggling
trying to figure out “okay, what am I going to give my daughter
or son who is suffering from a gluten allergy” or something
like that. They have it right here, easy to
go. Easy to go.
You’ve got breakfast, you’ve got snacks.
We have buns for hamburgers and sandwiches, granolas that are
great with yogurt and stuff, so it’s easy, it’s healthy, and
it’s quick. And it tastes good, most
importantly. And it tastes good!
And since I love to eat, and everybody knows that, I want to
try – what is this one again? This is the carrot raisin
muffin. I’m going to try to be proper
because considering it is the morning.
It’s great with a cup of coffee. The new brownies are fabulous.
Mmm, this is wonderful. This does not taste like
cardboard! No, it doesn’t.
This is great. Thank you so much, and I really
appreciate what you’re doing, because parents really do
struggle for a good wholesome snack or meal, and this is
really giving them a good option.
Thank you. Thank you.
And if you or your kids are dealing with food allergies and
gluten-free is what you need, visit us for the latest in
healthy allergy free food choices at
or share a bit about your favorite gluten-free bites log
and I’m going to take another bite of this because it’s
delicious. (music). You may have a bacteria breeding
ground right under your nose. That’s right.
One of our most common cleaning aids, the kitchen sponge, has
been found, now get this – to be 200,000 times dirtier than a
toilet seat! Fortunately there’s a way to
lessen the bacteria battle in your kitchen, and throughout
your home. As our next guest is about to
demonstrate, helping us clean up our acts and our kitchen this
morning, is Eric Phillips, brand manager for Armaly Brands,
Brillo. Yay, it’s so great to have you
in our kitchen. Julie, thank you so much for
having me. It’s wonderful to be here.
Oh my gosh, 200,000 times dirtier than a toilet seat?
I can’t believe that. That is just shocking.
It is shocking. So many people are unaware that
the dirtiest thing in their household is their kitchen
sponge. That just, to me, when that
statistic came out I’m like, oh thank goodness you’re on the
show today, because you’ve got to help us all out.
I mean can you really clean the average kitchen sponge?
There’s a lot of ways people try to clean the average kitchen
sponge, yes, and I say try, because none of them really get
the kitchen sponge clean. So, they’ll take the sponge and
put it in their dishwasher, or put it in the microwave, but it
doesn’t kill all of the bacteria.
Bacteria that are left on there will double every 20 minutes.
Oh my gosh! 4 bacteria that are left on
there will turn into 4 billion in a matter of 24 hours.
Thats crazy. It truly is.
Are all sponges created equal? No.
You know, all sponges are not created equal.
There is really two types of sponges that your normal
consumer would think of, and that is our Estracell that we
produce at Brillo, and then the cellulose sponge, and this is
really what most people have under their sink or sitting next
to their sink. Yeah, I do.
This is a paper based product. It’s a giant paper towel.
Paper is an organic compound. That’s what bacteria eats.
So, when these sponges get wet, and are left in dark spaces
under the sink, or next to your sink, the bacteria multiplies.
And I’m sure you’ve pulled your sponge out and you’ve taken that
smell? Yeah.
That’s the bacteria multiplying. Oh my gosh.
So, at Brillo, we’ve come up with our Estracell material,
which is a more sanitary sponge material.
It’s a polyester resin, proprietary blend, that is
non-organic, meaning the bacteria cannot survive on the
surface, or eat the surfaces of our sponges.
That’s amazing! Do you know what I love also,
the shape. You’ve got several.
I love this, I can get right in there with that.
That’s our wedge-edge cut on our sponge.
We really look at the sponge as a tool for the home owner.
It helps around the kitchen and in the whole house.
So, anytime we can make a little modification, make it easier for
use, that’s what we’re looking to do.
Perfect. So, these sponges don’t really
support bacterial growth, is that right?
That is correct. We’ve had these sponges
independently tested, and they’ve verified that the
Estracell material will not harbor bacteria and the bacteria
cannot grow on it. So that, along with the way we
manufacture these sponges, which allows them to rinse more clean
than a cellulose sponge, and dry faster, prevents that breeding
ground for bacteria. Now, you’re website says that
using these sponges can actually help us save money on cleaning
agents. Explain that to me.
The sponge can really be used in place of paper towel, or say a
dish cloth, we know you can run through a lot of paper towel in
an average week, so by just simply using the sponge instead,
you’re really saving quite a lot of money in the long run.
That’s so good. Now, I love that you brought
another product here, another one of your products I’ve got to
heave you tell me about. I’m in love with this.
This is a product that I’m really excited about at Brillo.
It’s our Brillo Sweep and mop. Okay.
And it is a 3-in-1 cleaner, so it allows you to dust your
floors. We have a pre-moistened wet pad,
that allows you to pick up those quick spills.
You know, if you really need a quick touch up before people
come over to the house – Right.
– it’s perfect for that. So perfect.
And really exciting are the deep cleaning pads –
Okay. – that allow you to use your own
cleaning solutions. We know it’s very important.
People like to – Have their own.
-have their own. Exactly.
That’s it. That’s so easy.
I love that. I want you to just pull the
corner. I love that.
Very simple to release. Throw it away.
You don’t have to get your hands in there, mess around with it.
Then, when you’re done, it simply stands on its own.
Perfect. Alright, any final sponge care
don’ts? Certainly.
You want to make sure that people don’t hold on to their
sponges for too long. Ha, you mean like six or seven
years? Absolutely.
Make sure that when they’re worn out, they throw them out.
People hold on to their sponges just too long.
Will you come over and tell my mother that?
I would be happy to. Absolutely.
Thanks so much for coming in. It’s so great.
I love these tips. Thank you so much for having us.
It’s been great to be here. Alright, if you’d like to learn
more and find out about cleaning tips from the kitchen to the
bathroom and beyond, visit us at or share
some of your own cleaning tips. Spread the info, not the
bacteria, log onto
Yeah, this one is really great. (music). It’s almost time to start the
day. Yes.
Hope you have a great one. Alright remember to check out
our website You can find lots more
information there as well. We’re also on Twitter and
Facebook. Follow us, like us, Tweet us.
All of it. Until next time, remember, find
your balance. So long everybody.

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