Older, Cheaper Vacuums Spread Germs
January 6, 2012 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
BRISBANE, Australia, Jan. 5 (UPI) — Some vacuum cleaners add to indoor air pollution by releasing bacteria and dust that can spread infections and trigger allergies, researchers in Australia say.
Lidia Morawska, a professor at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, and colleagues said previous research showed vacuum cleaners can increase levels of very small dust particles and bacteria in indoor spaces, where people spend about 90 percent of their time.
In the current study, Morawska and colleagues tested 21 vacuum cleaners sold in Australia from 11 manufacturers marketed for household and commercial use.
The vacuums were less than one year to 22 years and cost from less than $100 to almost $800.
The researchers examined the effects that age, brand and other factors had on the amount of small particles and bacteria released into air.
The study, published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, found all the vacuums released some fine dust and bacteria into the air and even vacuums with High-Efficiency Particulate Air filters in some cases released only slightly lower levels of dust and bacteria.
However, the newer and more expensive vacuum cleaners were generally less polluting than older or less expensive models.