Thursday, March 4, 2010

Carpet, Asthma, Allergy & Doctors

American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology Annual Meeting 2010

Carpet and Rug Institute Attends American Academy of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology Annual Meeting in New Orleans

Or, No Sneezy [Allergies] in the Big Easy...

I spent the weekend in New Orleans at the annual meeting of AAAAI – the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology, talking to doctors who stopped by the CRI booth. I talked to allergists and pediatricians, family practitioners, academic researchers, and practice nurses, among others, about the suitability of carpet as a floor covering for patients with allergies and/or asthma, and about the best ways to keep carpet clean. I handed out hundreds of copies of our booklet, Carpet Cleaning Tips for Dummies, as well as a brochure that summarizes Dr Mitch Sauerhoff’s international literature review that concludes that there are currently no scientific studies linking carpet to increased asthma and allergy symptoms.

This was my second AAAAI meeting, and the third meeting of allergy doctors I have attended for CRI, and my sense is that the doctors seem to be getting used to having CRI there. While the first year we showed up we definitely met some skeptics, this year I felt much more accepted and welcome. CRI had arranged to have the Sauerhoff brochure titled "Clearing the Air About Clean Carpet" placed in specially-prepared bags of literature that were given to each attendee.

I’d estimate at least eight or ten doctors mentioned to me that they had read the brochure, and of that group, three or four said the information had definitely made them rethink what they had been taught during their training – that asthma and allergy patients should always remove carpet from their homes. Several others commented that they agreed that there didn’t seem to be any science behind the recommendation to remove carpet - only presumptive and anecdotal evidence - and that information on effective cleaning was valuable. Dozens of docs requested that I send them packets of Carpet Cleaning Tips for Dummies books to distribute to their patients.

It was gratifying to feel like I met a receptive audience for the message that clean, dry carpet is a great floor covering for every home – including those where asthma and allergy patients live.


P.S.: The Housekeeping Channel published today a Q&A on Asthma, Allergies and Carpet. Would you add any questions to the list?


Magic Wand Company said...

That is really nice to know. I recently collaborated with a large restoration company to write an article about Allergies and how a carpet cleaning and restoration professional can help.

Bethany said...

Hello and thank you for your comment. Would you be willing to send me a copy of the article? I would like to read it and perhaps use it as a resource. My email is brichmond(at)

Danny the area rugs guy said...

I grew up with bad asthma and now that I think about it, every house I lived in had at least a few carpeted rooms. I guess that's part of the reason it took me so long to get rid of my asthma.

How does this relate to area rugs or any small rugs? Should I be cleaning my area rugs more often?

Anonymous said...

A relevant but strangely ignored or not generally known fact about asthma is that the change between weak (asthmatic) and strong (healthy) breathing is dependent on abdominal muscle tension. Slackening the muscles here causes abysmally weak and asthmatic breathing. Training the muscles, for example by “abdominal hollowing” (see Web articles) produces an antiasthmatic effect. Abdominal muscle tension plays a prominent part in Asian martial arts. I tend to breathe asthmatically after an evening meal or in pollen-laden air.
So it is fair to assume that there is a natural breathing spectrum with an asthmatic tendency at one end and Ku Fu or Karate breathing at the other end. For a few words on the Japanese version of Asian breathing see
Breathing powerfully into my lower abdomen with tensed muscles provides an effective cure for me. But then I’ve always been sceptical about medical wisdom on asthma: such a paradoxical and doctor-baffling increase in the last 40 years with modern inhalers. Respectfully, Richard Friedel

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