Testing for asthma & allergy friendly certification by airmid healthgroup
09
September

By Adem Lewis / in , , /


Hello I’m John McKeon, the CEO of
Allergy Standards Ltd the international standards and certification body. We collaborate in America with our partners, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of
America, to operate the asthma & allergy friendly™ certification program. As a standards body, we get a lot of questions with regards to the standards and our testing methodologies. So today we’re going to go down to the
laboratory, airmid healthgroup, and speak to some of the researchers and some of the scientists to take us through the standards and actually show us some of the testing actually in progress. So let’s go down to the laboratory. We’re now down in the allergen laboratory of airmid healthgroup. airmid healthgroup does all the allergen-based testing for the American asthma & allergy friendly™ certification program. At the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America they get a lot of enquiries with regards to the testing and certification methods we use here and the criteria. So we’re here with Máire Fox who is the lead researcher and scientist in the allergen laboratory and she’s going to show us around the
laboratories today and specifically show us examples of some products being tested for the program. Hi my name is Máire Fox and I’m head of the allergen testing laboratory
here at airmid healthgroup. I’m also the quality manager. Here in the allergen laboratory we carry
out testing for the certification program. The types of products that we test are appliances such as vacuum cleaners, washing machines, air cleaners. We also test textiles. In relation to textile testing we carry out a passive allergen infestation study and we also carry out a modified dust trap and simulated use test. As part of textile testing we carry out two tests under the asthma & allergy friendly™ certification program. We use the modified dust trap and
the simulated use test, which are carried out here, to examine the barrier efficiency of fabrics. So for example this is Allergen Barrier Test with Airflow where we use the modified dust trap apparatus.
The piece of fabric is fixed here in the dust trap and we use the ATD (allergen test dust) which goes down through the system and a vacuum pump pulls the air through. There is a filter located downstream which collects any allergen that goes through the fabric, and we can quantify this on our ELISA. Another key component of the asthma & allergy friendly™ certification program for textile testing is the Simulated Use Test. This uses real-time conditions where there is two chambers, the fabric is placed in between the chambers. In one
chamber there is the allergen test dust with steel ball bearings.
It’s rotated for 20 hours the allergen test dust that passes through
is quantified on the ELISA. This test can also be used to look at cross seams, seams and zippers. This is the Passive Allergen climate controlled chamber where we carry out our passive infestation studies which are key components of the asthma & allergy friendly™ certification program. We use life dust mite cultures with our textiles and bedding and soft furnishings and hold these in here for up to 12 weeks where we carry out our claim verification.


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