About 50 million people in the US suffer from allergies. That’s a huge market for allergy-related products. Unfortunately, at the intersection of the growing number of people with allergies and consumer awareness of allergies are many many enterprising and not so reputable companies trying to make a buck. There is nothing immoral or wrong about making a profit. But it is wrong to promise people to relieve suffering and provide allergy relief if you can’t deliver. The Allergy Store believes consumers of allergy control products should be armed with information to make informed decisions. Let’s take a look at some commonly used terms for marketing allergy control products.
All the term hypoallergenic means is that the materials used to construct the product were not shown to cause an allergic reaction in the test subjects. So think about that for a moment. Peanut butter is 100% hypoallergenic to people that don’t have a peanut allergy. Got it? So that means that a pillow marked as hypoallergenic just means the material in the pillow itself did not cause allergic reactions. That does not mean that when you bring the pillow home it will not collect mold spores or dust mites. In the case of wool products, you must be particularly careful. Wool naturally repels dust mites, so many times it is called hypoallergenic. But wool contains lanolin. This natural substance keeps dust mites at bay, but it causes allergic reactions in many people.
Bottom line: Hypoallergenic is a useless term for evaluating allergy control products
These days we assume that something that is minimally processed is better. Natural comes from nature, so it must be better than anything man-made. Sounds so sensible it must be true.
Except all natural does not always mean all good. Arsenic, poison ivy, and the influenza virus are all natural. However, I wouldn’t recommend any of them to my friends or family.
The current raw water trend is another great example. Raw water must be great for you because it is all natural and it hasn’t been treated. Except it isn’t. There’s a reason we treat water, and it’s to kill harmful microorganisms.
Bottom line: Evaluate these claims carefully. Don’t sacrifice safety at the altar of all natural.
HEPA is a measurement. Think of a ruler from your school days. It measured inches, usually 12 of them at a time.HEPA is a measurement of filtering capability. It means that 99.95% of particles 3 microns or larger are captured by the filter. “Medical HEPA” doesn’t exist. Whether you are in a medical setting or an industrial manufacturing setting or a bedroom, HEPA is HEPA. Putting the filtering measurement in a medical setting doesn’t change the measurement. There are 12 inches in every foot whether you are inside or outside of an operating room, HEPA is the same.
“HEPA like” doesn’t mean anything. Either the filtering capability meets HEPA requirements or it doesn’t. Swimming “fish-like” doesn’t make a tadpole a fish. It’s still a baby frog. HEPA-like doesn’t make something HEPA and you can’t be “like” HEPA. Either it is or it isn’t.
When evaluating any product with HEPA filtration capabilities, you need to also evaluate how and if the unit is sealed. This is particularly important with vacuum cleaners. Many models leak particles before they get to the filter. Ask about how the unit prevents leaks.
Bottom line: Only HEPA is HEPA. Don’t settle for anything less.
Allergy Control Products That Really Work
Don’t fall for marketing hype. Stick with tried and true allergy control products that really work.
Dust mite proof bedding works. It is proven every time it is tested.
Allergen Wash was proven to work in independent studies. See the results on the manufacturer’s website.
Denaturing agents like tannic acid have been independently tested and proven effective. Allerpet denatures allergens and the application process removes allergens as well. That’s a twofer.
HEPA air filters remove airborne allergens. Just make sure you get the right size filter for the room.
When in doubt, ask.
Got a question about an allergy control product you’ve seen advertised elsewhere? Drop us a line or give us a call at 1-800-771-2246. We’ll help you evaluate the claims. Be informed. We think that makes YOU the best consumer.
Wishing you the best of health,
The Allergy Store
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