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airmid attended the 2012 Annual General Meeting of the European Feather and Down Association in Dublin

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Last month airmid attended the 2012 Annual General Meeting of the European Feather and Down Association in Dublin. The purpose of the association is to promote the interests of the European members of the bedfeather and feather-filling industry and their suppliers. In addition, it pursues the targets of making a contribution towards promoting fair business dealings and transactions, of informing its members of European quality regulations, and of encouraging the compliance with such regulations.

Dr J. McKeon spoke on some of the lessons learned from the asthma & allergy friendly™ Certification Program in the Unites States, particularly where it relates to natural fill bedding. The Certification Program uses data from research, entitled A New Method for Assessing Feather and Down Serum Protein Contamination that was peer reviewed and presented by Dr Bruce Mitchell at the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Annual Congress, in Istanbul, Turkey. This research demonstrates that the duck IgG immunoassay is an important tool for assessing the level of bird allergen contamination of feathers and hence can be used to assess the effectiveness of the commercial washing process for removal of allergens.

Dr Juliane Hedderich, Business manager of EDFA also presented data and a literature review on dust mite allergies related to natural fill pillows and quoted several recent studies including that Dr Horst Müsken from Bad Lippspringe, states: "We used to teach and tell patients that house dust mites live in the feathers and feed on them. But that is wrong, as we know today!"

Even though feather and down pillows are ‘fixed and inanimate objects’ they are clearly very significant ‘dynamic’ objects that can impact on indoor air quality in the breathing zone of the bedroom. Therefore they are very much in the aerobiology and biomedical contract research sweet spot for airmid healthgroup. Contract research with industry associations, other laboratories and manufacturers using both environmental test chambers and field studies is something airmid will be focusing on in the next few years. airmid looks forward to playing an active role in the organisation in the future and bringing its aerobiology expertise to the members.

Related test
Allergen Barrier Test with Airflow (Ref SP304)

References
Nafstad, P. et al.,The use of a feather quilt, childhood asthma and allergic rhinitis: a prospective cohort study,Clin Exp Allergy. 2002 Aug; 32(8):1150-4

About airmid healthgroup
airmid helps their clients across a number of sectors improve, add value and differentiate their customer offerings through a focus on bio-medical data, health impact claims and optimising indoor air quality. We have a uniquely integrated facility, which combines standard microbiology testing, molecular biology and state-of-the-art air sampling with a highly developed climate controlled walk-in environmental test chamber. This gives us a world-class aerobiology research facility that allows us to follow airborne pathogens such as nominated viruses, bacteria, molds or other ultra-fine particles. As a world leading bio-medical research facility our clients describe us as a specialised extension of their research capabilities. We capture, store and manage data and most importantly convert it into tangible market value.

Contact Graeme Tarbox if you have any questions on the issues raised in this article and to learn how we can add value to your company:  gtarbox@airmidhealthgroup.com