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HEPA Filter Vacuum Cleaners - Do They Really Work?

Eureka HEPA filter vacuum cleanerHEPA filters are designed to trap 99.97% of all air particles, and vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters are popular. Many allergy organizations recommend them, even though they are sometimes quite pricey, as they generally use a stronger motor than regular models. But do they really work?

Not according to a study by researchers from Britain's University of Manchester, which came to the conclusion that "there is no significant advantage to using a HEPA vacuum cleaner to reduce exposure to air-borne particles like dust-mites".

The research was carried out at the North West Lung Centre, which is run by the University of Manchester, and the results were published in the January 2006 issue of the "European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology".

According to a University press release (no longer online):

The team compared nasal air samples taken before and during vacuum cleaning using both HEPA and non-HEPA vacuum cleaners. They found a small increase in exposure to dust-mite during vacuuming with either type of machine, which was increased when emptying the dust compartments of either.

Lead investigator Dr Robin Gore said: "These vacuum cleaners are marketed to allergy-sufferers on the basis that they reduce a person's exposure to air-borne particles raised from carpeted floors. For allergy sufferers, such particles can trigger asthma attacks. However, we have already found that both HEPA- and non-HEPA vacuum cleaners can actually increase an individual's exposure to particles containing cat allergens.

..."In combination with our previous work, the study seems to confirm that high-efficiency vacuum cleaners confer no benefits and should not currently be specifically recommended to allergy sufferers as a means of reducing personal exposure to allergens, either by their manufacturers or health professionals."

* Get more information and the latest prices on HEPA Filter Vacuum Cleaners.

February 21st, 2007
Updated November 9th, 2007

 

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