This weekend allergy sufferers in Sydney will be well and truly aware that spring has sprung, with a string of up to four days of high pollen count predicted to begin on Friday.
For the seven million Australians* who suffer from allergies or asthma the National Asthma Council Australia (NAC) has developed the Sensitive Choice program to recognise companies that are working to improve the lives of allergy sufferers.
The NAC blue butterfly logo has been awarded to more than 300 products and services in Australia including a number of electrical appliances to keep the home sneeze-free. “The program is of particular value to the 2,300,000 Australians with asthma and the one in three of us who suffer from allergies,” the website states.
NB: Not all the brands below have been endorsed by the NAC, the ones which have received the blue butterfly logo have been specified, while others stood out for their inclusion of features for allergy sufferers. The full list of products and services is available here.
Across its floorcare range Dyson has received endorsements from allergy foundations around the world, including the NAC.
In part this result has been achieved through research and testing at Dyson’s in-house microbiology lab which offers support to the engineering project teams to develop healthier and more hygienic appliances. Testing Dyson vacuum cleaner prototypes is carried out there to ensure standards of pick-up, bin emptying and emissions are market leading and pass criteria for global allergy accreditations.
The grains of pollen are normally transported in the home on clothes or come through open windows and doors. These minuscule pollen grains are captured efficiently by the Dyson cyclone technology.
Dust mites are the number one cause of allergies in the home, however it isn’t the dust mites themselves that are the cause of allergies but their droppings. Dyson says dust mites are common in most households, but especially in homes with humid and warm conditions. They tend to thrive in modern houses with double-glazing and central heating. Carpet can contain up to 1,000 dust mites per square metre on heavily infested carpets, normally however this level would be in the 10s or 100s.
In its microbiology lab, Dyson scientists grow their own dust mite cultures then investigate the best ways to eliminate them in the home.
Dyson has a number of accessories to offer to specially cater for different surfaces including pet groom tool, mattress tool and soft dusting brush.
The Asko W6888ALLERGY Washer has three special allergy programs including one for cotton, synthetics and a program that cleans the drum without a load of clothes inside with water heated to 90 degrees.
De’Longhi’s range of dehumidifiers is designed to alleviate the problem of excessive moisture in the air, preventing the growth of mould and bacteria. They also reduce dust mites and laundry drying times.
Electrolux floorcare products are concerned with improving the ‘invironment‘ and the reduction of particle pollution inside the home. Its UltraFlex range will be available in September with three new models that “capture 99.99 per cent of dust particles and allergens.”
In ascending price order, the range includes: UltraFlex Allergy (ZUF4201OR) RRP $479, UltraFlex Animal Allergy (ZUF4203PET) RRP $599 and UltraFlex Animal Allergy Pro (ZUF4205AF) RRP $659.
Bissell recommends deep cleaning your carpet with an upright or canister deep cleaner at least twice a year – but if you have children, pets, allergies or a smoker in your home you may need to deep clean more often.
Although Bosch offers a full range of products in three major floorcare categories – bagless, bagged and 2-in-1 handstick vacuums – it is the bagged Ergomaxx and GL-40 range of vacuum cleaners that have been endorsed by NAC. The four models include an innovative ‘One-Step’ bag replacement system which allows you to simply open the cover and pull the self-closing tab to remove and discard the bag.
From the Sensitive Choice website: “Bosch, believes that the most effective way to remove dust, pollen and other allergens is to use a bag. This is why they have released their latest bagged range with the superior MegaFilt SuperTex andMegaAir SuperTex Dust Bags. These hold up to 65 per cent more dust, and feature three layers of material that capture and filter 99 per cent of dust and dirt.
Also thanks to the Bosch four stage filtration processes, the exhaust air that is finally expelled back into the room is cleaner than the average ambient air, 99.997 per cent clean in fact.”
Bosch Avantixx Washy+Dry (WVH28440AU) also comes with an Allergy Plus mode, and Bosch washing machines with the i-DOS feature use an automatic dosage system to reduce the risk of allergies caused by residual detergent.
Duel Daikin products also have the NAC blue butterfly logo. Daikin Air Purifiers have an advanced four stage filter system first removes dust particles, cigarette smoke, pet hair and pollen from the air. Then its photo catalytic filter removes mould spores and odours and adsorbs viruses and bacteria.
The Daikin Split System Air Conditioner use similar air purifying filters to trap airborne particles.
A number of Godrey’s vacuum cleaners make the NAC Sensitive Choice list.
Godfreys Hoover Hygiene Plus Vacuum Cleaner and Godfreys Wertheim Vacuum Cleaners make the list for their removable and washable HEPA filter, designed to capture up to 99.97 per cent of all particles .
Godfreys NZ Sauber Intelligence Vacuum Cleaner has “been designed from the ground up to assist those with asthma and allergies”. It contains a double-membrane self-closing dustbag to ensure the highest level of hygiene.
LG’s laundry range also has features for allergy sufferers. The 2014 LG range has adopted steam generators for selected cycles. During the 60 degree Allergen cycle, the steam keeps the temperature inside the drum at an appropriate level to help remove house dust mites and allergens, while the ‘steam refresh cycle’ is a 30 minute steam only cycle (no water or detergent needed) to remove odours and wrinkles.
Sharp’s Air purifiers and Ion Generators use Plasmacluster Ion technology which creates a shower of positive and negaitive ions, similar to those found in nature. Large concentrations of these Plasmacluster Ions are released to every corner of a room helping to clean and refresh the air.
The benefits include reduced houshold odours and breaking down harmful airborne substances, such as pollen, dust, pet fur and dander and mould.
* Figure from the National Asthma Council Australia.