Home Interviews PURE Rooms: A Safer Way to Travel for Mold and Allergy Sufferers

PURE Rooms: A Safer Way to Travel for Mold and Allergy Sufferers

by Catherine

Hi, Hi!

I’m excited to bring you something a little different from most of the posts on this blog—but definitely, still in keeping with the cleansing your environment of mold overall subject matter. So, today I’m posting my interview with new-afr-logo-smaller-version-75PURE  CEO, Brain Brault.

PURE is a company focused on safe, friendly indoor environments for allergy sufferers. They offer everything from air purifiers, and allergy-friendly pillow and mattress encasements, to whole-room purification and cleaning solutions for hotel rooms. The company is even trying to expand its reach to schools, retail and corporate environments—in short, anywhere people are indoors for extended periods of time, where their allergies, or chemical sensitivities can get the best of them.

I first learned about PURE hotel rooms from listening to the Podcast with Dr. Dennis on The Misdiagnosed Life. (If you would like to read my interview with Dr. Dennis, chronic sinusitis specialist and inventor of MicroBalance and the EC3 products that I use to clean for mold in my home, and my post about the Podcast, click HERE.) Dr. Dennis mentioned PURE hotel rooms when he was answering my question about which EC3 and MicroBalance products are his “go-to’s.” He said that he seeks out and recommends to his patients with mold sickness, hotels that offer PURE rooms when traveling to help mitigate an allergen onslaught when he is less in control of his immediate environment. (A PURE room, coupled with the use of EC3 Spray, EC3 Candles and Sinus Defense, keep him from getting sick away from home.) So, of course, I had to check into the company myself.

When I looked into PURE, I found what seemed to be a favorable and less intimidating lodging option for those of us with mold allergies.  And, while staying in a PURE room doesn’t eliminate any and all chance of a mold or allergen exposure, it certainly did seem to provide a hefty buffer. My interest into the science and details involved in making and maintaining a hotel room to the PURE standards, and, my personal quest to find “mold-safe” options for my family and my readers, led me to reach out to the company with my interest and my questions.

What follows is an in-depth look into a PURE hotel room with a wonderful and informed guide, company CEO Brain Brault.

Me: First, I just want to say, “thank you,” for taking the time to talk with me about PURE and the philosophy behind bringing specialized allergy care to major hotel chains. It really helps people with allergy issues when they travel. I cannot tell you how many times, my family and I have skipped an event or a trip, when we don’t feel that there are reasonably priced hotel accommodations that will also fit my family’s needs. You see, we are all extremely mold-sensitive and my son also has multiple chemical sensitivities. In the past, the burden has been on us to “make do” in a normal room, and to bring our arsenal of products and air filters with us to make the room tolerable while we are there.

BB: Catherine, Thank you for looking for PURE when traveling and for taking the time to learn more about us.  To put it simply, the PURE room concept was created to make lives better and to allow people to travel more comfortably and enjoy a better night’s sleep.

Me: Please describe for my readers the process that a hotel has to go through to advertise PURE rooms at a particular location? (Note for readers: There is a detailed account of the PURE 7-step process on their website.)

BB: The PURE process involves an initial conversion, where our team of specialists arrives on site and performs an entire process to bring the room up to a “safe haven” status for those suffering from allergies or asthma. The room is brought to a very clinical state through deep cleaning and sanitation of every surface in the room. One of the first critical steps we take is an intensive cleaning and sanitation of the HVAC unit—all of the air in the room will circulate through it, so this is crucial.  From there, we apply a PURE shield product that helps prevent mold, bacteria or viruses from adhering to surfaces.  We install a Class II Medical Device air purifier that is continuously circulating the air you breathe- 4-5 times every hour.  The mattress and pillows are then encased with PURE Hypoallergenic encasements that protect the guest from dust mites and any allergens while they sleep. Once the room conversion is complete, we have a team of trainers who arrive and work with the entire hotel staff and get them familiar with these new room cleaning procedures. 

Me: From there does your company review their practices and revisit the locations advertising the PURE standards to make sure that all of your requirements are met and maintained?

BB: Yes, absolutely… That is one of the great things about our program. Every 6 months, our PURE specialists return and are on site to perform a scheduled maintenance and to check air quality to ensure the rooms are performing to standard.  This makes the program very “hands off” for the hotel staff and allows the PURE rooms to be maintained by a third party.

Me: Can a hotel lose the ability to advertise PURE rooms if it is not meeting your company’s standards?

BB: Yes. We also have a PURE Quality Control team. They perform surprise visits to PURE hotels to check on things, like the particulate count in the room, to check that all PURE encasements are present, and to ensure that air purifiers are on and running properly.  This allows our team to make sure that the guest is having the best experience possible. 

Me: The PURE 7-step process sounds very thorough at the onset. What is done differently in a PURE room between guests to make sure that it stays allergy-friendly from one guest to the next? In other words, are there different general cleaning products used in a PURE room? Is a PURE room cleaner or cleaned more thoroughly than a normal room?

BB: Great question!  Our team does work with the housekeeping staff to encourage them to avoid things like bleach, fragranced sprays and pesticides in the rooms.  We do have processes in place (Like the Class II medical device air purifier) that will tackle those situations, if one of those products are used… however, we like to refrain from having them used in the PURE rooms all together.  We like guests to understand that although all of the rooms at our partnering hotels are clean, PURE rooms take it to the next level.  PURE rooms offer exceptional air quality, which results in a phenomenal nights sleep!

Me: What kind of testing has been done on the PURE patented system to show that it makes a room both allergy-friendly and significantly more hospitable for an allergy sufferer than a normal room?

BB: The State University of NY @ Buffalo Center for Bio-Surfaces did extensive testing on the efficacy of the PURE program. This testing covered issues ranging from reduction in airborne particulates, to determining the amount and species of particulates that remained on room surfaces and in the air. This was retested over a period of time to help us determine the most effective time frames to retreat certain areas of the room. The results were spectacular.

Me: So does all of the extra focus on allergy-care cause a PURE room to cost more than a “normal” room at the same hotel?

BB: A PURE room will run about $20 more per night.  Most of the hotels offering PURE rooms do offer a sleep guarantee:  Try a PURE room, and if you don’t love it, then your $20 premium will be refunded to you.  We often hear positive comments from guests, who feel that they wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day

[after sleeping in a PURE room], without the scratchy throat and itchy eyes that they often experience when traveling.

Me: Even carpet that has been deep cleaned can harbor thousands of allergens. My family and I have trouble with carpet, some upholstery and the chemicals used to clean them becoming trapped in the fibers and off-gassing. I know that many of my readers share this concern. Out of curiosity, why is it not required for PURE-certified rooms to be carpet-free or for the furniture in them to be leather or vinyl, rather than upholstery?

BB: We hear this concern from consumers often and we encourage them to try a PURE room and let us know what they think, and the feedback is quite amazing… Our process was specifically designed to allow hotels to offer allergy-friendly rooms without needing to change out any of the surfaces in the room.  This is one of the reasons more and more hotels are partnering with PURE.  Specifically, the PURE shield that is applied, along with the Air Purifier that is used in our program, allow us to maintain the integrity of the environment.

Me: The tea tree oil in the air-handling units made me happy to find out about. I use and love the all-natural EC3 mold cleaning products in my home and on the road, so non-toxic is definitely my preferred way, when it comes to dealing with mold and bacteria. And, as I am sure you know, most people suffering from allergies also have some level of chemical sensitivity as well. Can you tell me more specifically about the ingredients in the products your company uses?

BB: The products used in the PURE process are green products. One of our favorites is the PURE Tea Tree Oil that we install in the air handler.  We designed the Tea Tree Oil Cartridge to be easily removable, in the event that someone with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities didn’t want it in there.  The Tea Tree Oil is a great natural product that we use in our program to minimize growth of bacteria, viruses, mold and mildew in the air handling system.  All the green cleaning agents we use are bio-degradable and safe. There is no off-gassing. We apply PURE shield, a bacteriostatic barrier, as well, that makes it extremely difficult for contaminants to survive on any surfaces, including soft surfaces. 

Me: As far as the air purifiers go, is there a purifier present in each room, or is it part of, or inside of the HVAC unit?

BB: Each room is equipped with its own Class II Medical Grade Air Purifier. 

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Guests love our purifier so much that they often call us to purchase one for their home! You can visit takepurehome.com to view the purifier and other PURE products for your home.  (Use promo code “PUREONLINE20” to save 20% off your order)

Me: Since my blog is focused on cleaning for mold, could you tell my mold-sensitive readers how PURE cleans specifically for mold, and how a PURE room would compare to a non-PURE room, in terms of how they would be protected from that particular allergen?

BB: Any presence of mold prior to the conversion of a room to PURE needs to be mitigated and the source of the problem fixed. From there, the presence of the PURE Shield and the medical grade purifier, make it VERY difficult for mold and mildew to be a problem for guests. The shield is a bacteriostatic barrier that binds on a molecular level with every surface in the room. It has a molecular structure that looks like a bed of nails. In addition to making it nearly impossible for contaminants to adhere to any surfaces, it punctures the membrane of a bacteria cell and kills it. The medical grade purifier kills 94-100% of all airborne mold and mildew spores by trapping them in the system and exposing them to a strong electronic field that kills them. All the air in a room is circulated through the purifier between 4-5 times every hour (or every 12-15 minutes). 

Me: Is the best way to ensure that the room I am booking is a PURE room to book my stay through your website?

BB: You can book your PURE stay right at www.pureroom.com, and we are happy to assist in anyway we can.  You can also book directly through the hotel, but we do love to work with guests traveling to an area offering PURE rooms.

Me: Thank you so much for all of the in-depth information. I am so happy to be able to get this out there to a community of people suffering from mold-related illness. I am new to this myself, and have felt very limited in my ability to leave my home for fear that a new environment might make me sick again. What your company is doing is opening doors. You are making safe environments available and affordable to travelers. It is a wonderful concept.

BB: Thank you so much Catherine, we are so thrilled to be expanding at a rapid rate and offering PURE rooms in more and more markets.  We really love hearing from guests that they now look for PURE rooms when planning their vacations!  Thank you so much for sharing the PURE difference with your followers!

So, there you have it. I haven’t had the opportunity to stay in a PURE room yet, but the next time we travel, I will definitely be checking into whether or not our destination has a hotel that offers one.

If you have stayed in a PURE room in your travels and have comments or feedback, I would love to hear from you. Did you like it? Notice a difference in your allergies? I will also update the blog with my experience when I have the opportunity to check one out.

 

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