Tuesday, May 24, 2011

For those of you asking about carpeting and allergies...........

Childhood Asthma Study Published in The New England Journal of Medicine Concludes: No Difference in Allergen Levels in Carpeted vs. Uncarpeted Homes
Contact: CRI Communications Department, 706.428.2103

Dalton, GA. (April 15, 2011) - A major study of inner city children with asthma concludes that positive environmental interventions in the children's homes, such as improved cleaning and the elimination of tobacco smoke, will result in a lessening of the children's asthma-related symptoms and an increase in their symptom-free days. Further, the Inner-City Asthma Study found no difference in the improvement experienced by children who lived in homes with carpet versus children from homes with other types of flooring. In addition, no difference was found in the levels of allergens measured in carpeted homes compared to homes with hard surface floors.

An article describing the study, titled, "Results of a Home-Based Environmental Intervention among Urban Children with Asthma," is published on the website of The New England Journal of Medicine. Based on years of research and independent testing, the carpet industry has long maintained that carpet does not contribute to allergy symptoms or poor indoor air quality. However, this is the first peer-reviewed study confirming the industry's position from a prestigious medical journal.

The study followed 937 children from seven major U.S. cities over the course of a year. Of the participants, more than 50% of the children, aged 5-11 years, had positive skin tests to three or more allergen groups. Other common elements of the group were that they were from families whose incomes were at or close to the poverty level, as well as these factors: Cockroaches were reported in 58% of homes, wall-to-wall carpeting in the child's bedroom in 55%, a smoker in 48%, mice or rats in 40%, and furry pets in 28%.
At the outset of the study, researchers sought to remove carpet from the children's bedrooms, but factors such as rental agreements kept them from it. Still, family members were instructed to remove the carpet from their children's bedrooms wherever possible.

Family members were given HEPA-filter vacuum cleaners and cleaning products and educated about various allergens and how to remove them from the home. Children's beds were encased in dust-mite-blocking covers, and professional pest exterminators were called in where needed.

The study found that children in the intervention group missed fewer days of school, slept through the night more, and made fewer trips to the emergency room. Contrary to researchers' expectations, children with carpet in their bedrooms improved as much and did just as well as children who had hard surface floors.
The interventions also produced marked declines in the measured levels of allergens in the home. Again, in contrast to predictions, no difference in allergen reduction was found between homes with carpets and those without carpeting.

The Inner City Asthma Study was sponsored in part by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Center for Research Resources of the National Institutes of Health. According to published disclosure statements, none of the researchers or institutions were affiliated with or sponsored by any representative of the carpet industry.

The findings of the Inner City Asthma Study refute the widely-held notion that patients with asthma and/or allergies must remove their carpet, and according to Carpet and Rug Institute President Werner Braun, the study confirms the carpet industry's assertion that clean, dry carpet is a healthy flooring choice for everyone, including children and adults with asthma and allergies. "CRI's position is based on a body of sponsored as well as independent research, but the Inner City study is significant in that it comes from the medical community," Braun said.

Since we get asked about it a lot and people are trying to save $$$....DRY CLEANING AT HOME

Many people opt to dry clean at home because they cannot afford to pay others to dry clean their delicate clothes, or because they do not trust others to do it properly. But when you opt to do it at home, you need to understand the process so as to get the best results.

The first step is to always look for the label on the article of clothing to be cleaned, and look for the care instructions emblazoned on the label. You need to find the words "Dry Clean Only" on this label. This means that the clothes cannot be dumped inside a regular washing machine and washed with detergent and water.

Why is it important to dry clean such clothes? Well, if you don't, you may wind up doing irreparable damage to the fabric. Examples of fabrics that require these methods are silk, rayon, and wool blends. The damage these would suffer when cleaned the wrong way are shrinking, bleeding of colors, and warping of their shape.

The process requires the use of a chemical solvent (known to most people as "dry cleaning fluid".) The most common chemical solvent required is perchlorethylene (otherwise known as "perc".) Experience has shown that this solvent is quite effective at removing grease-based and oil-based stains from clothes. However, you have to be cautious when using the solvent because inhaling its fumes can make you very sick. This is also why it is quite important that all the perc be removed from the clothing after cleaning because some people find even trace amounts of perc to be quite irritating to the throat, nose, and eyes.

If you opt for dry cleaning your own clothes, there are some home kits available to the public. These kits do the same job that commercial shops do, but their ingredients may be different from the solvents used by commercial dry cleaners. Generally, the home dry cleaning kits contain a reusable dryer bag, dryer activated cloth, and the stain remover. Others may also include pads that absorb stains.

Before you can dry clean, you need to pre-treat the clothing fabric with the stain remover. The stain remover is often water-based so any stains that are water-based (such as soup) are easily removed. There may be some detergent and/or petroleum ingredients in this stain remover as well. Though it may seem funny to use a water-based solution for pre-treating clothes, there is only a small amount of water so it won't damage your clothes.

Solvent will be necessary if the stains on your clothes cover quite a large area. But apply only a small amount of solvent on a hidden part of your clothing first - this will show whether the fabric is durable enough to withstand the use of solvent. Then you can go about the dry clean process indicated on the box of your home kit. Bear in mind you may need to own a dryer if you opt to dry clean at home.
What if you just don't have enough money to get your clothes professionally dry cleaned?

I know how hard it can be to come up with the extra money to do it, but luckily there are dry clean at home options out there that will prevent you from having to spend a fortune on dry cleaning.

Don't give up hope on having professional looking clothes, it's NOT impossible. Or if you'd rather not tackle it yourself and would rather have a professional do it, learn more about how to find the best dry cleaners by clicking the link.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6235935