Hypoallergenic or Allergy Free: Science or Marketing Hype?

Allergies & Asthma

It’s common to see the terms “hypoallergenic” or “allergy free” on many products and services. These are terms many consumers have become familiar with. Many people even seek out products and services with these labels. They can give the impression anything with these labels are healthier and less likely to trigger asthma and allergy symptoms.

But you may be surprised to find there are no regulations on how a product can be labeled “hypoallergenic” or “allergy free.” The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says, “There are no Federal standards or definitions that govern the use of the term ‘hypoallergenic.’ The term means whatever a particular company wants it to mean.”

In some cases, the word is just marketing. But people with asthma and allergies need claims to be backed by science. Their health depends on it.

Standards That Matter

This is why the asthma & allergy friendly® Certification Program is based on science. The Certification Program was created to address the needs of the 100 million people in the U.S. with asthma and/or allergies. It is a unique collaboration between the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) and Allergy Standards Limits (ASL). Products and services are tested to meet strict scientific standards developed by AAFA and ASL. Only products that meet these standards earn the asthma & allergy friendly® Certification mark. This helps consumers with asthma and allergies find and choose products that reduce indoor asthma and allergy triggers and contribute to healthier indoor environments.

Reducing exposure to triggers and allergens is critical to controlling asthma and allergy symptoms. And because of that, we need products and services backed by science, not marketing.

Many products promise to help control allergens. To help you make informed decisions, we have CERTIFIED several products. When you are shopping for products for your home, look for the CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly® mark. It indicates the product has passed our testing standards.

Visit aafa.org/certified to search for CERTIFIED products. There you can also learn more about the asthma & allergy friendly® Certification Program.

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