Asthma and Allergy Awareness – The Balancing Act

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Good morning everybody, and
welcome to The Balancing Act. We’re so glad you’re here.
I’m Julie Moran. And I’m Olga Villaverde.
Alright, a very special show today.
Help, yes… help, for families with
allergies as we devote the entire program to helping you
breathe easier, literally and figuratively, within your home.
That’s right. We’re going to address asthma
and allergies, which by the way Julie, strike 1 in 4 Americans,
and that includes my husband. I believe it, and me and my
daughter. There you go.
Then we have some practical solutions on keeping your home
allergen free, with two trusted names in the industry.
It’s a trusted show with great information coming up.
The Balancing Act starts right now.
Stay with us. (music).
If you’re sneezing and wheezing this morning, you’re probably
one of the millions of Americans suffering from asthma and
allergies. Now, every year, listen to this,
we spend billions, yes billions, on cleaning products to try to
make our homes healthier. So, why are you still sneezing
and wheezing? Well, the reason might be right
under your nose. So, today, we’re going to tell
you why your house may be making you sick, and help you get rid
of those household allergens and irritants.
Our resident guru, Michelle Cassalia, is here to get us
started. Good morning.
Good morning. Thanks for being here.
Well, thanks for having me. Well, I first should say Happy
Allergy Awareness Month, right? Yes, May.
Very important to say that. Asthma and Allergy awareness
month. Absolutely.
Because 1 in 4 Americans are dealing with asthma and
allergies. That’s 1 in 3 households in
America. And that would be me, because my
daughter Dani, she suffered from asthma when she was younger,
and I gotta tell you, with the coughing and the
wheezing, we had to change air ducts.
Oh wow. We did a lot in the house to
make her comfortable. Wow, good.
Let me ask you this, because a lot of people ask me, so Dani
has asthma, yet my son has allergies.
What’s the difference? Asthma is a lung disease which
can make it hard to breathe. Allergies are an immune disease,
which can cause problems with your nasal passages, and with
your lungs. Now, tell me what are the
symptoms let say, for asthma and for allergy, and I’m going to
assume they are both very dangerous.
Yes, they both can be severe and deadly.
Some of the symptoms of allergies can be a runny nose,
watery eyes, scratchy throat, coughing.
Asthma can be heavy breathing, chronic coughing, wheezing.
And I know last time you came, you shared your story about your
son, and I know he suffers from food allergens, so I know that
there are certain foods that can trigger it, but there are also,
and I’ve heard this before, non-food triggers that can cause
an allergy or asthma attack, right?
Yes. Correct.
What are those? Asthma and allergies can be
triggered by allergens and irritants lurking in your home.
They may be out in the open, or they might be hidden.
It depends. What about all the household
cleaning products that we spend so much money on?
Do they work? Are they healthy?
Well, Americans do spend over 10 billion dollars on products and
services. 10 billion?
Yes, and it amazes me because these products and services
claim to be allergy and asthma free.
Don’t tell me they’re not. Well, there has been no
scientific proven claim and no government regulation on any of
these products and services. So we could be buying these
products, as I have many times, and contributing more to the
problem. Correct.
Ave Maria. So how does one know what to get
for their daughter, or their husband, or anyone that’s
suffering from asthma or allergy?
Well, the first stop should be to go to the Asthma-Allergy
Foundation of America. Okay, tell me about that.
It’s and it’s an amazing website.
It has many wonderful resources. It is the largest and the oldest
non-profit charity patient organization in the world.
So when one goes there, it will walk me through and tell me what
I need to get, and what I can be sure of that will help the
situation, as opposed to exacerbate the situation?
Yes, actually, AAFA and the top medical doctors, back in 2006
came together to create a guide, a program, so you as a consumer
are empowered, and you know when you go to buy a product or
service that has the certified seal, you know that you are
definitely getting a product or service that has been certified
asthma-allergy friendly. So that could kind of give me
piece of mind that I know this is what I need.
Yes, you know that it’s been proven, rigorous testing, in a
scientific lab. And that includes things like
vacuum cleaners, filters, not just products that you use to
clean the house, everything and anything?
Cleaning products, portable air filters, pillow encasements,
mattress pad encasements. You know when you go to buy a
certified allergy asthma pillow encasement, you know that you
are getting a product that is true.
Great information. If I had known you, maybe let’s
see, seven years ago when I had all that wheezing going on, I
would have known all this. Yes.
And I wouldn’t have spent so much money!
Thank you so much. I know you’re coming back this
week for more tips. I am!
Great. Always love to have you.
Thank you my dear! And of course in the meantime,
head on over to that website, or our website for all great information there.
Coming up next, as promised, we’ve got some of these great
home products that are certified asthma and allergy friendly, and
we’re going to show them to you, so don’t go anywhere.
(music). Did you know asthma and
allergies strike 1 out of 5 Americans, with a 100% increase
over the past 20 years. 60% of US households are
affected by asthma and allergies.
Common indoor allergens are pet dander, dustmite feces and mold
spores, most of which are present year round.
8 of 10 people in the United States are exposed to house
dustmites. 6 out of 10 are exposed to cat
or dog dander. Help for families with
allergies, presented by Stanley Steamer.
Now that we know more about allergies and how they can
affect our home environment, it is time to talk solutions,
especially when it comes to one of the biggest culprits, our
carpets. Here to start the conversation
on how you can create a healthier home environment, is
Justin Bates, president of Stanley Steamer International,
an industry leader in the carpet cleaning business.
It is so great to have you here Justin.
Thank you, Julie. It’s great to be here.
Alright, your company has earned a pretty impressive
certification, and I want you to tell me about that.
Well, after years of testing, we are the first service company
certified asthma and allergy friendly, by the Asthma and
Allergy Foundation of America. That’s so great.
You know, I think Stanley Steamer and your yellow vans,
but most people really don’t know that it’s your technology
that drives your success. What makes you guys different?
Well, we are unique because we manufacture all of our own
carpet cleaning equipment in Columbus, Ohio.
Wow. So, one thing that AAFA really
liked was that of all of our 3000 vans traveling around the
country today, they are all manufactured in the same place,
to the same specs, to provide consistent service to everyone.
And once again, we remind viewers that AAFA is the
organization that goes around and certifies people that are
great with dealing with allergies and asthma, and you
guys are amazingly certified. Now, Justin, you brought in a
little cleaning project today. Actually, you cleaned this rug.
It was so dirty. This is not our usual Balancing
Act rug, but this was filthy, and you brought in one of your
best technicians. Dave, come on in here.
Came in from Philadelphia. So great to have you on this
show! Nice to be here.
So great. Now this was awful, and you came
in. You’ve got to tell me a little
bit about this process and what you did today.
We cleaned it a little earlier. Yeah, well, we used our
signature equipment that we manufacture back in Columbus.
Truck mounted equipment. We brought it in.
We pre-treated the carpet. We used our special spot
removers to pre-treat all the spots and spills.
The truck heats the water to 180 degrees.
We use chemicals that are pet-friendly, kid-friendly,
safe, but at the same time they do a great job.
We got very dramatic results on the carpet.
It looked good, came up clean. I can see the dirt coming up
now. It’s just, you’re getting it all
out. It’s all coming out.
Now, this is a little bit of a reunion for you guys, because
you’re going to be on Designing Spaces.
We look forward to that. Tell me what you did.
You took a whole house and you really transformed it.
Yes, a couple of days ago we were out at a home for Designing
Spaces, and there was a new homeowner, and the homeowner’s
children had allergies and asthma and were allergic to
pets. Oh.
The previous owner had pets, so we came in, we cleaned the
carpet, we cleaned the upholstery, we even cleaned the
tile and grout, and we color sealed the tile and grout, and
completely changed the look of the room.
Oh they must love that. And Dave, I know that when you
come into a place, I mean, it must give you such a sense of
pride to come in there and be able to recreate a home
environment for somebody. Yeah, absolutely.
A lot of our customers use us on a pretty recurring basis.
They recommend every 3-4 months to have us come out and people
that have kids that suffer from asthma and allergies, they’re
always calling us and they really feel a difference after
we leave. The home feels healthier, it
really does, and cleaner. Our cleaning process was found
by AAFA to remove, on average, 94% of common household allergen
triggers, so we got all of that out.
Today, they’re feeling much better in there.
It’s feeling like a healthier home, a healthier environment,
and you know hopefully there’s less suffering going on.
Every couple months is really the ideal situation if you
really want to keep your home clear of those allergens.
Yeah, that’s what’s recommended. Every three to four months, have
us come in. Do a hot water deep clean, and
then also regular maintenance. You know, make sure you have a
certified vacuum, two to three times per week.
Make sure you run that. Don’t forget about your
furniture. You know, vacuum the furniture
as well. That’s another big filter in
your home. Great.
And Justin, from you, president of the company, and I hear it’s
a family owned company for many many many years, what are your
final thoughts? You know, we’ve talked a lot
about the equipment and the process, but what really makes
it work are the people. Our professionally trained
technicians have all been drug-tested and background
checked, and we’re very proud. So, Justin, how can viewers
schedule a cleaning and get more information?
Well, it’s easy. They can either go to and schedule online.
Oh okay. Or they can call 1-800-Steamer.
Thank you so much for being on the show.
I learned something. I’m going to be a little bit
better about that 3-4 month period, but you were great.
Thanks for cleaning our carpet today.
Thanks for the opportunity. Great to have you.
Alright, if you’d like to find out more about today’s asthma
and allergy special segments, and the benefits of keeping your
home allergy free, visit us at and stay
with us, because I’m coming back with another everyday solution
to keeping your home ship-shape and allergy free.
Some household tips: Place certified allergen barrier
bedding on your mattress and pillows.
Wash your bedding at least once a week in 130 degree hot water
to kill mites and their eggs. Replace pillows every 1 to 2
years. Keep household humidity below
50% to avoid mold, a common trigger.
Fix leaky pipes and cracks to reduce standing puddles of
moisture where mold can prosper. We’ve shared some great
professional allergen solutions this morning, now let’s talk
about another important way to reduce and control allergens and
airborne particles, and joining us is Joy Petty, the director of
marketing for Maytag vacuums. It is so great to have you with
us, Joy, this morning. Oh, well thanks.
I’m excited to be here. You know, Joy, right off the
bat, can a vacuum truly make a difference, not just getting
dirt, but getting allergens out? Absolutely.
Not all vacuums are created equal, so it’s important for
allergy and asthma sufferers to really pay attention to what
vacuum they’re using. well, in the green room, you
referred to the rugs and the carpets being like a giant
filter. Can you explain a little more
about that? Sure.
When you think about pet hair and dustmites and all those
other yucky things you don’t really want to think about, if
they’re dropping to your floor and surface, if you have bare
floors, they’re going to be kicked back up into the
breathing area of your home when they get recirculated when
somebody walks through the room. But if you have carpets instead,
all those dirty dusty allergens get trapped into the carpet
fibers and are held onto when somebody walks back through that
room. You can’t just replace your
carpet as though you’re changing the filter.
No you can’t. Instead, you just have to clean
it with a high-performance vacuum.
Wonderful. Now, earlier, you gave us a
demo, and I want to take a look at that so our viewers can see
and explain exactly what’s happening in this demo.
Sure. Well, what makes the M-1200
unique and different than anything out there is the fact
that it has two motors working for both suction and agitation.
So let’s start by taking a look at what an ordinary vacuum does
with suction. And then, if you take a look
here, we’ll show you what the difference is when you have both
suction and agitation working together.
Oh I can totally see the difference.
Just bubbling up through the carpet.
We say all the time that it creates like a mini-earthquake,
with that agitation to bring everything up to the surface and
then the suction motor can sweep it away.
I see it right before my eyes. Now, talk a little bit about the
feature that makes the Maytag different, especially that
stretch hose that you were talking about.
Sure. Well, you know irritants can be
high or low. Just think about those dusty
ceiling fan blades. Oh I don’t want to think about
that. Well, it’s easy to get to them
with your Maytag M-1200. You can just take the stretch
hose and it gives you 17 feet of cleaning reach.
Yeah, that’s really important, to think high and low.
When it comes to removing allergens with a vacuum, what’s
the most important thing that a vacuum should accomplish?
Well first of all, you need a really powerful vacuum to get
all of that stuff out of the carpet, but that’s only half the
story, because you don’t want it just out of your carpet, you
want it out of your home. Absolutely.
And so if you think of emptying a bagless vacuum, you’re
coughing, you’re sneezing, you have watery eyes, all of that,
that doesn’t seem to keep you real safe from all those
irritants from out of your home. So, instead, the Maytag uses a
self-sealing poof-proof bag that as you remove it from the
vacuum, everything is trapped inside, so you don’t have to
come in contact with the dirt. It also leads to a much cleaner
vacuum. I brought my M-1200 from home
that I’ve been using for over a year.
Okay, did you bring that on the plane with you?
I did. I flew down with my very own
Maytag! I’ve got a house full of kids,
and pets, and you would never know that I’ve been using this
vacuum for over a year because it’s still clean in here, and as
good as the day I got it. Wow, that’s really cool.
Let’s talk about the filter. A lot of manufacturers claim to
have that HEPA media filter, but there are differences, right?
Absolutely. A HEPA filter is a good start,
but it needs to be part of a sealed system, because
otherwise, the air can blow around that filter, and spew
dirty air back into your house. But, if all the air path is
close, everything has to go through the HEPA filter and only
filtered clean air is returned to your home.
So that’s really an important feature, right?
Absolutely. If you have asthma and
allergies, you need to look for that.
Okay, fantastic. And for those seeking more
information, or they want to know where to find you, where
can our viewers go? You can go to
or you can find us on Facebook. Alright.
Such a great segment. Such great information, and you
really educated us. Thank you for coming in, Joy.
It was great. Thanks for having me and happy
vacuuming. Happy vacuuming.
If you’d like more information about how to help control those
nasty allergens in your life, you can also visit us at, or clean up your act by getting a little bit
social. Log on to (music). Well, hopefully, we can all
breathe a little easier now. I can.
Thanks to the great information on today’s show.
Remember to check out our website You
can find lots more there as well.
We’re also on Twitter and Facebook.
Yes we are. Follow us, like us, Tweet us.
Absolutely. Until next time, remember, find
your balance. So long everybody.
(music). Help for families with allergies
presented by Stanley Steamer. (music).

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