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The truth about HYPOALLERGENIC DOWN.
ARE YOU ALLERGIC TO DOWN . . . OR TO MOLD?
Before we talk about allergies to down, keep in mind that there are probably more people allergic to mold or dust mites than to new down fill. We often hear stories of someone who won't sleep on a new down pillow because they once had an allergic reaction to one while sleeping at "Grandma's house." Before you give up the great comfort of a down pillow, consider whether that old pillow was stored in damp, mildew-prone area of the house. If so, you may not really be allergic to down at all.
USE OF THE TERM HYPOALLERGENIC:
DeWoolfson Down will never use the term "hypoallergenic" with regard to any down or feather product because we do not believe that the use of the term is appropriate. Anyone who is allergic to goose dander is simply going to be allergic to goose down. There is no scientific basis for concluding that washing and rinsing down, no matter how well, or by treating it with any solution, will remove 100% of the dander, or result in hypoallergenic down, and we encourage you to beware of claims otherwise.
To illustrate, if you are allergic to eggs, there is no way to process them, treat them with chemicals, cook them or bake them, that will prevent an allergic reaction. Indeed, science tells us that we would have to alter the DNA molecule in order for someone with true allergies to no longer be affected by that allergen. An impossible task indeed. It is common sense that washing down and feathers will not prevent it from causing an allergic reaction in those truly allergic.
WASHING AND RINSING:
DeWoolfson Down's quality fills do go through state-of-the-industry washing and processing in German-made down soaps, containing surfactants and emulsifiers, and using German-made equipment. Our down undergoes multiple washing and rinsing cycles, to assure cleanliness and sanitation. Air drying includes a specialized de-dusting vacuum system that further removes dander and fine particles. Despite this level of cleaning and processing, we will not label even our finest down fills as "hypoallergenic".
DEWOOLFSON USES NO CHEMICAL FUNGICIDES OR MOLDICIDE IN ITS FILL:
We believe that some companies using the term hypoallergenic are referring not to allergies to down, but to allergies to molds or spores that can form in pillows or comforters that are not properly cared for. We have seen claims that some down is treated with moldicides and fungicides that will retard the growth of bacteria and spores. In using the term "hypoallergenic" these companies may be referring to allergies caused not by down, but by mold. Our experience has shown, however, that these chemicals are toxic and not something that we, or our customers, would want to sleep under every night. We know of one case where an employee was exposed to these chemicals, causing burn-like blotches that required several weeks of treatment. It's far easier and safer to just store your down products carefully, and like anything else, away from damp areas.
DUST AND DUST MITES:
Keep in mind that many people truly are allergic to dust and dust mites. While mites can attach to the surface of the comforter, scientific studies done in Europe have shown that dust mites cannot penetrate the downproof fabrics used in down comforters, pillows or featherbeds. We recommend a good duvet cover that closes securely and is laundered often. DeWoolfson pillow protectors are made from downproof fabric and are inherently dust mite proof.
In conclusion, if you are truly allergic to down, then we recommend that you select another product. For instance, we offer a silk filled comforter that is hypoallergenic and a natural alternative to down. Silk is one of the purest fibers, unable to lint and containing absolutely no dander. Or consider our revolutionary down alternative comforters and pillows made from natural lyocell, a new fiber made from European beechwood that is more "cottony" than cotton and as silky as silk.