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Spring Air is World’s First Brand to Market ‘Asthma & Allergy Friendly’ Mattress

 

January 26, 2012 - In a nation where more than 70 million Americans have asthma or allergy conditions, Spring Air International will introduce the first mattress line certified as asthma & allergy friendly™ at the Las Vegas Market in January.

The breakthrough Back Supporter®-branded bedding line, intuitively named Breathe™ and carrying the position statement “Live Healthier™,” has been certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), the world’s leading non-profit patient organization dedicated to fighting asthma, allergic diseases and related conditions.

Spring Air’s certification for its proprietary Breathe mattresses follows more than a year of rigorous development and scientific testing at third-party, accredited laboratories.

 

The company now joins more than 130 other consumer products that have earned the respected asthma & allergy friendly Certification mark, including Disney®, LG®, Valspar® and Dyson®, among many other world-class brands.

According to AAFA, the certification mark is awarded only to those products that have proven in laboratory testing to be “more suitable for people with asthma and allergies and that are effective in indoor environmental control and allergen reduction.”

“We’ve never been more excited about a product introduction, especially one that addresses head-on the No.1 product in every home—the mattress—which has been identified by asthma, allergy and immunology experts as the priority target for reducing allergens and improving indoor air quality, ” said Rick Robinson, president of Spring Air.

“We say our name has been trusted by millions for 85 years, and we’re proud to be the first mattress company to make such a product available.”

 

The Case for Breathe™

The extent to which Americans could benefit from products like Breathe is apparent in AAFA statistics, which confirm that more than 50 million Americans live with allergies and more than 22 million have asthma, making those conditions among the most common and costly in the U.S.

 

Recent reports from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also show a substantial increase in the number of new asthma cases among children.

 

“Unfortunately, allergic diseases aren’t rare anymore, they’re mainstream,” noted Mike Tringale, AAFA vice president of external affairs. “And the numbers are rising. More and more families, schools and workplaces are dealing with the allergy epidemic.”

 

Of further significance is that Americans spend nearly 80 percent of their time indoors, where the air can be five times more polluted than outdoor air, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

 

Health experts have identified a direct link between indoor allergens and irritants and the severity of asthma and allergy symptoms. Triggers like dust mites, VOCs*, pet dander and others are commonly found in every room in the home. Consequently, AAFA and other health specialists stress the importance of allergen avoidance and reduction products—also known as “environmental control” in the home.

 

Tringale cited two AAFA studies conducted in 2008 and 2009 among more than 800 attendees at national meetings of allergy, asthma and immunology medical specialists.

 

When asked to identify what types of indoor environmental control products they recommended most, 42 percent of doctors named bedding. Other responses included dust mite control through clutter removal/avoidance (27 percent); air filters (17 percent); allergen control/prevention products (9 percent), and dehumidifiers (5 percent).

 

Also as part of the 2009 survey, 100 percent of the respondents agreed that AAFA’s certification is “helpful” or “very helpful” when shopping for environmental control products.

 

“In the home, the bedroom is ground zero for dust mites,” Tringale explained, “and the mattress is ground zero in the bedroom.

 

” While that accounts for the focus on allergen reduction in products like mattress encasements, pillows and sheets, he noted, solutions for the mattress itself have not been addressed until now.

 

“That’s why we’re so pleased that Spring Air has taken this major leap forward.”

 

*Volatile Organic Compounds: Organic chemicals that have a high vapor pressure at ordinary, room temperature conditions.

 

Independent Testing and High Standards

The asthma & allergy friendly™ Certification program is a joint program of AAFA and Allergy Standards Limited (ASL), a Dublin, Ireland-based international and physician-led research and certification organization that develops laboratory standards and protocols for a variety of environmental control products.

 

Each Certification Standard is reviewed, approved and adopted by AAFA and companies are invited to submit their products for testing.

  • The new Certification Standard for Mattresses (ASP: 02:15) is designed to assess many factors including:

  • Raw materials – to ensure that they do not contain chemicals or allergenic material above certain levels

  • Construction – including if the outer layer is an effective allergen barrier

  • Allergen accumulation – the rate dust mites accumulate, and the ease of removal of any allergens that accumulate over time

  • Quality – durability, comfort and performance

The asthma & allergy friendly™ Certification mark is awarded only to those products that have been scientifically proven to meet the strict standards set by the program. An abstract of the standard can be found at www.aafa.org/certified.

 

The New Spring Air Breathe Line

Robinson defines the new Back Supporter Breathe collection as much for what it is not as for what it is.

 

“Breathe beds are not medical products in the conventional sense because everyone—even people without asthma or allergy issues—can benefit from a healthier sleeping environment,” he explained.

 

“And while Breathe mattresses are extremely comfortable, we don’t define them by feel or specification. Their performance is determined by the type, placement and quality—not quantity—of raw materials in each of the beds.

 

“What Breathe products are,” Robinson continued, “are unique, exclusive in their components and patent-pending designs, and scientifically proven to be effective in indoor environmental control and allergen reduction.”

 

Carrying a 10-year warranty and expected to retail from $999 to $2,499 in queen, the Back Supporter Breathe collection is one-sided and includes a total of six models—three designs each in two comfort options, firm and plush.

 

The beds are innerspring-based and incorporate three different spring units exclusive to Spring Air. The top model uses the patent-pending, multi-level innerspring design found in the company’s premium Sleep Sense™ Back Supporter products.

 

All Breathe models are foam-encased and include components and materials that are enclosed in a patent-pending, zippered cover.

 

The stretch-knit cover is highly breathable and is styled in pattern and color to suggest healthy air flow and circulation. A textured border fabric in slate blue coordinates with the top panel and includes the “Breathe: Live healthier” embroidered logo.

 

Robinson explained that for anyone seeking a healthier sleep environment, the benefits of Breathe mattresses cannot be duplicated by using a mattress cover or protector.

 

“Most mattress covers only ‘mask’ potential problems and don’t assure that the bed’s internal components are free of harmful VOCs or other key allergen triggers,” he noted.

 

Initially, Spring Air will introduce Breathe mattresses as adult beds but plans to expand the concept into the youth and hospitality categories in 2012.

 

“Our ultimate objective is to begin improving America’s quality of life one home at a time,” Robinson said. “And that applies not only to the 70 million-plus who suffer from asthma or allergies, but also to the remaining 250 million people who can benefit substantially from a healthier sleep environment.”

 

Spring Air plans to present its new specialty Breathe line in its alternate showroom (B-1125), across from the company’s primary space (B-1126).

 

The presentation, which will be paired with the producer’s newly introduced, SSA-documented BioMax™ collection, will be executed in an all-white, architectural format.

 

Breathe beds also will be showcased outside in the Las Vegas Market center courtyard, promoted on all first-floor elevator door signage in Building B, and included in video presentations of new products shown at building escalators.

 

Marketing, PR Support for Breathe

Spring Air has planned a range of in-store materials, promotional and training support, and consumer publicity events to create and maintain high visibility for its Breathe products.

 

For retailers, the line will be available with a set of three headboards that include the Breathe logo, branded lifestyle photography and asthma/allergy facts. Similar information can be included on standing, illuminated acrylic signs for store floors.

 

A new product video on asthma/allergy health will be featured on a dedicated Breathe section on www.springair.com and made available to dealers for training, local TV advertising and customer demonstrations.

 

The company also plans to conduct satellite media tours, create online communications and participate in other media events targeted to consumers and health care professionals to build awareness and interest for the new line.

 

Robinson said Spring Air also will be included in an informative asthma & allergy friendly Certified Products Guide, published by AAFA and distributed to more than 60,000 doctors, nurses and health care providers in related respiratory fields.

 

About AAFA

Founded in 1953, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) is the leading national nonprofit organization fighting asthma and allergic diseases and related conditions. AAFA provides free information, conducts educational programs, fights for patients’ rights, and funds research to find better treatments and cures. More information about AAFA and the asthma & allergy friendly Certification program is available at www.aafa.org/certified

 

About ASL

ASL is an international certification and standards body that is committed to improving the lives of people with asthma and allergy by providing evidence- based international product certification programs. With a vertically integrated research facility, ASL is expert in innovating with clients in the fields of allergy, microbiology and all issues related to health and the indoor environment. www.allergystandards.com.

For more information, please visit: www.springair.com.

 

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