Asthma, Allergy Worsens with Climate Change; Whole Home Environmental Control a Key Topic at the World Allergy Congress
Allergy Standards Head of International Sales, Courtney Sunna, attended the 2019 World Allergy Congress in Lyon, France, presented by the World Allergy Organization (WAO) and the French Allergy Society (FAS).
1. Multifaceted Approach Environmental Control
The session featured programs and poster presentations with data from around the world to support the importance of environmental control for the reduction of asthma and allergy symptoms in the home environment. This supports the vision of the asthma & allergy friendly® Certification Program, a whole-of-house multifaceted approach to controlling the indoor environment for allergen control.
Other research presented at the Congress included:
- The Department of Pediatrics at Hanyang University in Korea, pediatric clinic, concluded that formaldehyde influences the development of rhinitis symptoms in Korean children. Further prospective studies are necessary in order to clarify the hazard of formaldehyde.
- ProtecSam Laboratories studied the impact of the use of dust mite covers with the quality of life of 52 allergic patients and found that using eviction measures, such as dust mite covers, enables the decrease of allergic rhinitis symptoms.
- The Department of Pediatrics at Inha University School of Medicine in Asan, Korea, studied the effects of indoor air cleaner with filter in children with asthma.
- Samsung Electronics, a Certification Program client, together with Hanyang University in Korea, measured the effect of the mechanical Air Dresser for eliminating pollen allergies, concluding that fine dust removal course from the Air Dresser removes more than 90% of the pollen particulates of the clothes.
The asthma & allergy friendly® Certification Program addresses all four areas above by scientifically testing and Certifying products in categories including textiles, such as mattress and pillow protectors. A key component of the testing ensures that formaldehyde is not present at any level, and tests multiple types of allergen, such as cat hair allergen, pollen, and dust mite allergen, rather than solely dust mites.
Additionally, air cleaners and steam clothing care systems are also tested and Certified through Allergy Standards, as certain models can be effective at removing allergens that accumulate on the air and on clothing.
2. Climate Change Impact on Asthma, Allergies
Another key theme of the WAC was the conclusion that the impact of climate change is increasing air pollution and allergens, which is causing higher rates of asthma and allergies on a global scale.
These findings are in line with the U.S. CDC (Center for Disease Control) report on the Effects of Climate Change on Human Health, which reports that a number of of health risks and concerns are due to decreased air quality as a result of climate change:
- According to the National Climate Assessment, climate change will affect human health by increasing ground-level ozone and/or particulate matter air pollution in some locations. Ground-level ozone (a key component of smog) is associated with many health problems, including diminished lung function, increased hospital admissions and emergency department visits for asthma, and increases in premature deaths.
- More and larger wildfires linked to climate change could also significantly reduce air quality and affect people’s health in a number of ways. Smoke exposure increases acute (or sudden onset) respiratory illness, respiratory and cardiovascular hospitalizations, and medical visits for lung illnesses. The frequency of wildfires is expected to increase as drought conditions become more prevalent. Exposure to allergens causes health problems for many people. When sensitive individuals are simultaneously exposed to allergens and air pollutants, allergic reactions often become more severe. The increase in air pollutants makes the effects of increased allergens associated with climate change even worse. People with existing pollen allergies may have increased risk for acute respiratory effects.
At the Congress, four sessions were presented on the topic of Climate change, air pollution and health impact of airborne biological particles. This indicates that asthma and allergy rates worldwide are likely to worsen, and improved patient care is needed on a global basis.
3. How Allergy Standards research is leading the change
Allergy Standards Limited created the asthma & allergy friendly® Certification Program to scientifically test and identify consumer products that are more suitable for people with asthma and allergies. When consumers see the distinctive mark on a product, they know they are buying an asthma & allergy friendly® product.
The asthma & allergy friendly® Certification Program is not just another unsubstantiated claim or stamp. Products bearing our certification mark have undergone stringent testing to a series of standards developed by our team of medical and healthcare experts. The number of Certification Standards continues to grow in order to encompass a wide range of products, supporting our commitment to the overall concept of allergen avoidance for people with asthma and allergies.
Allergy Standards is also committed to fulfilling the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically:
- SDG3: Good Health and Well-Being
- SDG9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
- SDG11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
- SDG12: Responsible Consumption and Production
- SDG13: Climate Action
We are also committed to forging strong partnerships for the goals by collaborating with industry innovators to create healthier products that reduce poor air quality indoors.
About the World Allergy Organization (WAO)
The World Allergy Organization’s mission, as a world-wide alliance of allergy and clinical immunology societies, is to be a global resource and advocate for the specialty, advancing awareness and excellence in clinical care through education, research, and training. WAO consists of 99 regional and national allergy and clinical immunology societies; by collaborating with member societies, WAO provides direct educational outreach programs, symposia and lectureships to physicians in nearly 100 countries around the globe.
About the French Allergy Society (SFA)
The French Society of Allergology is the society of allergy specialists in France. It brings together several disciplines affected by allergies: pulmonology, dermatology, immunology, ENT, ophthalmology, gastroenterology, internal medicine, pediatrics, occupational medicine and general medicine. It also brings together practitioners from different settings: university, hospital and private practice.
climate change, sustainability, health, healthier home, indoor air, asthma, allergy, allergy standards
Related Internal Links
WAC Program, Click here
CDC: Climate Effects on Health, Click here