The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), a not-for-profit organisation founded in 1953, is the leading patient organization for people with asthma and allergies, and the oldest asthma and allergy patient group in the world.
AAFA is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with asthma and allergic diseases through education, advocacy and research.
In the words of the AAFA themselves, Americans spend an estimated $10 billion a year on non-medicinal consumer products marketed for people with asthma and allergies – products such as vacuum cleaners, air cleaners, bedding, toys, flooring and more.
These products tout a wide variety of features and benefits including suitability for those with asthma and allergies, the ability to prevent allergen accumulation, and in some extreme cases, promising improved health for consumers without providing scientific proof or validation for such claims. The allergen-avoidance market continues to grow as a result of increased consumer demand but “currently there is little or no regulation governing claims”.
WHAT IS AAFA CERTIFICATION?
In 2006, AAFA and top medical experts created the Asthma & Allergy Friendly™ Certification program with the mission to empower consumers to make an informed purchase decision when choosing allergen-avoidance products. The certification program independently tests and identifies consumer products that are more suitable for people concerned or living with asthma and
HOW IS THIS CERTIFICATION DIFFERENT?
Any company can test their product with a scientific organisation or facility and present their results to a consumer or endorsement program.
What is different with this particular certification program is that all testing is carried out by an independent testing facility appointed by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. It is they who develop the criteria and testing that a product must pass and not the company who manufactures the product.
Other organisations will accept the company’s own test results without verifying the tests or the facility where the tests were done. There is no consistency required by them.
Also, it has become common practice that you just need to pay enough money to have an endorsement. Many charities are happy to accept donations in return for the use of their logo without testing or verification. We believe this is wrong.