Asthma & Allergy Friendly Certification Program Continues to Expand in the BedroomWASHINGTON, April 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 60 million American adults and children live with asthma or allergies, and the numbers are growing. These chronic respiratory diseases are characterized by sneezing, wheezing, coughing and difficulty breathing. (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120404/DC82616) Mattresses can be a major source of asthma and allergy triggers, since they often harbor dust mites, pet dander, irritating chemicals and gases, and more. Some bedding items can contain unwanted chemicals such as formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other finishes from manufacturing or packaging, and bedding can also accumulate household allergens during everyday use. For people with asthma and allergies, it can be difficult to sleep through the night without exposure to these allergens and irritants. So with the average person in the United States spending nearly 80% of their time indoors – a considerable portion of that sleeping – finding a suitable mattress is an important part of making a healthy home. For the past 6 years, the asthma & allergy friendly™ Certification Program run by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) in partnership with the international standards body Allergy Standards Limited (ASL), has been introducing scientific standards for household products to help consumers reduce their exposure to allergens and irritants. The Certification Program puts products to the test in independent, accredited laboratories around the world to determine if they meet the standards and contribute to allergen control and better indoor air quality. AAFA's newest Certification Standard is for "Mattresses" which evaluates multiple facets of a mattress including the barrier function of the encasing materials (to keep out dust mites, etc.), chemical composition and emission testing of the component materials, and real-time allergen accumulation and exposure on the finished product.