Clean air, clean home

by Reggie Rullan
(Manila, Philippines)

by Reggie Rullan published in the Daily Tribune Life 17 July 2012

Four kids beset with all manner of allergies have made me an extremely suspicious, obsessive-compulsive, squeaky clean mom, yet still I am always failing at keeping our home free of allergens.

I may have driven a thousand and one house helpers out of our home for insisting on the daily wet and dry cleaning of the glass windows, steel bars, furniture, bookshelves; the weekly washing of the electric fans; the weekly general cleaning of the cupboards, the clothes and linen cabinets and storage rooms; daily vacuuming and sanitation of all the bathrooms and all the floors at home, among other housework.

My kids are, in fact, so used to a squeaky clean house that whenever we would enter a public area and they detect dust (their nostrils pick up any allergen like highly sensitized sensors), they would plainly ask, “Mom is this place clean?” It would be embarrassing as they would ask this within the hearing of the occupants of that place.

That is why it was a puzzle to me why my kids still got attacked by allergens on a weekly basis. My air conditioner cleaner, who regularly came to pressure-clean the units at home, suggested I use 3M Filtrete aircon filter in addition to the washable filter. My cleaner had kids with allergies, too, and it was only after they used the 3M Filtrete aircon filter that they noticed a decrease in the incidence of stifling noses amongst their kids. My air conditioner cleaner promptly installed the 3M Filtrete aircon filter and attached a white sticker that would alert me once it was time to change the filters.

After the sticker turned gray, I changed the filters regularly. I could literally inhale the difference and, more importantly, my kids did not get air conditioner-related allergies anymore. A recent event held by 3M illuminated to me the phenomena of their filters and its relationship to the allergens hibernating in an air-conditioned room.

Dr. Patricia Santos-Abes, allergologist, head of the Allergy and Immunology Section of the Pediatrics Department of the Asian Hospital and Medical Center; consultant at Makati Medical Center; a member of the Speaker Board of GlaxoSmithKline, MSD Philippines and Westmont Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; fellow of the Philippine Society of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology; and diplomate at the Philippine Pediatric Society, Allergy and Immunology in the Philippine General Hospital Medical Center and New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, discussed at a 3M forum how allergens in the air affect respiratory health in children.

I was aghast at the range of allergens from dust, pollen, mold, pet dander and even smoke which are present in a home. I was literally cringing at the thought that all these organisms that were alive and well in my space, from the rugs to the mattresses and sofas, to the curtains and the air conditioner and electric fans. No wonder the kids are beset with one allergy after another. Regular cleaning certainly can’t combat all these nasty allergens lurking in every conceivable corner and fabric in a house. Worst of all, air conditioning can aggravate the potency of these allergens as the dirty air is recycled by the air conditioner in a living space and spewed out again as cold air — with all the allergens alive and well in the process.

The 3M Filtrete aircon filter absorbs these allergens and prevents them from being absorbed by the air conditioner, effectively filtering them out and processing only clean air to be circulated in a room. No wonder being in an air conditioned room without 3M Filtrete aircon filter increases the risk of ingesting allergens, which become trapped in the cool confines of a room and is recycled over and over again by the air conditioning process.

3M Philippines, in partnership with Summit Media, also presented in the forum were the different ways of organizing a home with the GH (Good Housekeeping) Good Ideas Workshop that featured practical tips on how to reduce clutter.

Interior designer Johanna Victoria Acab-Faustino, the principal designer for Clothing, Textiles and Interior Design (CTID) at the University of the Philippines Diliman, also gave home design tips aimed at helping create aesthetic organizing ideas. Space management is key in making sure every family member’s clutter is kept at a minimum, if not eliminated altogether. After all, every family member brings in their own “junk” and the pile just seems to grow bigger as they engage in new hobbies and interests as the children grow.

Head of 3M Philippines Construction and Home Improvement Markets Division (the manufacturers of Command) Vivian Faustino shares, “We, at 3M Philippines, are giving every Filipino the convenience in managing and making their home spaces a better place for their families. For every part of the home, Command has products that can let consumers maximize their home spaces by utilizing their walls.”

3M Philippines offers home space and organization solutions through its Construction and Home Improvement Division like the Command Damage-Free Hanging Solutions and Filtrete air cleaning filter products. 3M serves customers through six business segment: Consumer and Office Business, Display and Graphics Business, Electro and Communications Business, Health Care Business, Industrial and Transportation Business, and Safety, Security and Protection Services Business.

One of its business segments, Consumer and Office Business Supplies, features an array of innovative products that keep homes cleaner, offices organized and buildings well-maintained. This business segment includes the Construction and Home Improvement Division, which carries the company’s well-known brands, Command and Filtrete, that bring efficient solutions from organizing to decorating spaces.

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