National Jewish Health Launches
Family Air Care® Indoor Allergens and Mold Test Kit
Retailer Green Depot, home inspectors, green builders and realtors all on board to market and distribute test
Home owners, buyers and renters can now assure that their indoor environment is healthy and safe with an easy-to-use kit manufactured and serviced by the nation’s number one respiratory hospital, National Jewish Health. The Family Air Care® Indoor Allergens and Mold Test Kit reports levels of the most common indoor allergens and a relative moldiness index. The product will be especially useful for millions of people with allergies and asthma, who can benefit from lower exposure to allergens and irritants in their environment.
To use, consumers simply attach a small capture device to their vacuum cleaner hose, briefly run the vacuum cleaner in their homes, then mail the collection device to National Jewish Health in a pre-paid envelope provided with the kit. Test results will be posted on a secure website, which customers may access with a PIN provided with the kit. In addition to providing specific levels for four allergens (cat, dog, cockroach and dust mite) and a relative moldiness index formulated by the US Environmental Protection Agency, the results also show how customers’ homes compare with homes across the nation. Information will also be provided regarding steps that can be taken to reduce allergen levels within the home.
“The Family Air Care® kit is the only commercially available indoor-air testing kit that lets customers compare their results with samples from homes around the nation, and offers specific advice about how to interpret the results and what to do after receiving them,” said David Tinkelman, MD, Vice President of Health Initiatives at National Jewish Health.
Green Depot, the #1 supplier of environmentally friendly and sustainable building products, services and solutions, will offer the kit for $349 via its e-commerce site, Greendepot.com , and its 5 retail locations.
“Green living means healthy air quality,” said Sarah Beatty, Founder of Green Depot. “At Green Depot, we are always searching for the best new products that empower our customers. The Family Air Care® kit is a comprehensive, user-friendly solution—the first from a reliable and respected leader in respiratory health. We’re proud to make this product available to all families.”
National Jewish has also partnered with EcoBroker International, the nation’s largest network of environmentally oriented and trained real estate agents, and the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors to market and distribute Family Air Care®.
“We are excited about the partnerships we have formed with the professional organizations to distribute and market this product,” said Dr. Tinkelman. “Their support shows the true value of the Family Air Care® product to both consumers and professionals.”
The kit and additional information are also available at http://www.familyaircare.com/.
The mold testing component of the kit was developed jointly by National Jewish and Roche Diagnostics Corporation , based on the EPA’s index, using state-of-the-art DNA-detection technology. Advanced Diagnostic Laboratories, a referral laboratory within National Jewish known worldwide for its excellence in specialized testing, will measure, analyze and report on the allergens and mold found in the collection device.
There are no widely accepted guidelines for allergen and mold levels inside homes. Recently, National Jewish industrial hygienist John Martyny, PhD, conducted a meta-analysis of the published literature on household levels for the allergens, including mold. As a result of that analysis, Dr. Martyny was able to divide levels for each allergen into low, moderate and high. In consultation with environmental and respiratory experts at National Jewish, recommendations were assigned to each level.
Low indicates that the allergen level observed is less than the levels normally observed in U.S. homes, and is not likely to increase allergic symptoms within the home. Moderate indicates the level of antigen in the home is within the national average, and may not be of concern to most residents. People whose levels are moderate will be advised to consider further evaluations of their health as it relates to allergen or mold levels in the home.
High indicates that the levels observed have been linked to allergic reactions in some exposed individuals, and that reduction in these antigen levels may be advantageous to residents, especially those with allergies, asthma, or other breathing problems. Customers whose homes have high levels will be advised to consider remediation. The Family Air Care® site will recommend actions individuals can take to lower levels in their homes, and provide links to Greendepot.com, professional remediation and industrial hygiene associations with lists of members in good standing.
“The Family Air Care® assessment benefits all households, but is especially important to the 70 percent of households where a person with allergies and/or asthma lives,” said Dr. Tinkelman “Both the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and the US Department of Health and Human Services recommend that people with allergies and/or asthma reduce levels of allergens and irritants in their homes to improve their health.”