If you ever had a goose down comforter or feather pillow that had a odor, or may have smelt a bit musty,chances are the goose down filling was not cleaned properly at the factory level and you got an inferior product.
People are not allergic to goose down and feathers. They are allergic to what is left in the goose down and feathers.
People are not actually allergic to goose down, goose feathers, or down feathers – it is what is left on the goose down prior to stuffing the comforter or pillow that people are allergic to.
This may sound bad, but things such as dust mites, dander, fats and oils are very common in unwashed goose down material. It is those items, which when not washed out, cause allergies and reactions in some people. It is those items that cause odors in goose down products.
When goose down material is improperly washed at the factory level and allergies arise from some products, most people mistakenly associate the allergy as being directly related to the goose down and feather filling. Because a lot of people are actually not aware of these facts, they assume that it is the goose down they are allergic to.
If you have ever felt uncomfortable, or have experienced having an allergic reaction to what you think is goose down, there are numerous ways which you can avoid a future reaction. It all comes down to selecting the right product.
I can assure you that you are not allergic to properly cleaned and sterilized goose down materials. When goose down is properly cleaned and sterilized, it becomes “truly hypo-allergenic”. This type of goose down has been fully stripped of all allergy causing materials and has been heat-treated to become completely sterile before being put into the comforter or pillow shells.
Another thing to look for is “down-proofed” shells. Down-proofed shells do not leak. Nothing gets in, nothing gets out. When truly hypo-allergenic goose down is put into a down-proofed shell, you are guaranteed an allergy free product.
Some things to be leery of are down filled products that claim to be “sanitized”. There is a difference between the words “sanitized” and “sterilized”.
– Sanitizing is a chemical treatment. It may be used in times where the goose down is not cleaned to truly hypoallergenic standards. By spraying chemical sanitizer onto the goose down, manufacturers are only masking the allergy issue, not solving it.
– Sterilization goose down is a result of heat treatment over time. The top end manufacturers will wash goose down so it is completely free of all dust, dander and mites. Then they will heat the goose down in massive commercial dryers all the way to temperatures in excess of 120 degrees Celsius. When the goose down has been heated to such temperatures, it is held there for a minimum of 30 minutes which ensures sterilization of the goose down material.
Because of this key difference, sanitized goose down cannot be considered “Truly” Hypoallergenic Goose Down, and therefore, is a lesser quality, much cheaper product that sterilized goose down.
According to North American standards, there are numerous requirements that a goose down must meet in order to be considered hypoallergenic goose down. Industry minimum standards for turbidity are 500mm. Top manufacturers within the industry set their own internal turbidity standards at 800mm to ensure true hypoallergenic goose down material is achieved.
In another article, I will explain exactly what “Turbidity” is and how it is calculated. Another cleanliness specification I will reveal is the “Oxygen Number”. These are two of the biggest specifications which determine the cleanliness quality of your goose down filling material.
As you can see, there are many factors that contribute to the cleanliness and quality of truly hypoallergenic goose down, and it is extremely important that you are aware of these factors when purchasing your next luxury goose down comforter, pillow or goose down garments.
Do not be fooled by companies that claim their goose down is allergy free when they do not rid their materials of allergenic substances! Stay informed, live well.