Common Household Appliance a Dangerous Infection Machine?

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Did you know some of the most dangerous disease-causing bacteria may be hiding out in your vacuum cleaner?

All of the 21 vacuum cleaners tested by researchers released at least some fine dust, allergens and bacteria back in the air, according to a recent Environmental Science & Technology study.

It was no surprise that older vacuum cleaners — scientists tested models as ancient as 22 years — did more to pollute indoor environments than newer ones.

But it was a surprise that vacuums equipped with more modern High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters dispersed only slightly lower levels of bacteria and dust into the air, even though such devices claim to rid the air of at least 99 percent of these contaminants!

Photo: Courtesy of CDC

Science experts are torn: some recommend newer vacuums with HEPA filters (but that you change the filters regularly), while others believe a central vacuuming unit — one with the filtration unit and motor enclosed separately from the home — is more effective in getting rid of dust consistently.

Among the dangerous bacteria that may be spread around, but not removed, by your vacuum cleaner: Salmonella (the second most frequent cause of bacterial problems in America) and Closteridium botulinum (responsible for infecting our foods).

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Environmental Science & Technology

WebMD

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Comments

  1. Ryan the vacuum guy says

    this is definitly a surprise to find bacteria in newer vacuum models, especially since vacuums these days go through thorough testing before being released for the public to use

  2. faheem says

    I fail to see how this is worse than manual sweeping with a broom. Or leaving your doors and windows open…
    Come on guys, trying to solicit an interest in your products is fine.. But do not become the pot calling the kettle black and sensationalise the mundane; the same why that every other commercial industry does.
    Bacteria is ALREADY there. Stirring it up is stirring it up. No matter which tool you use. Our white blood cells can take care of bacteria. They are designed to do that. They have done so since Genesis. The planet is getting overpopulated, maybe this is a sign that we are “too healthy” and maybe we should just stop buying cures and fix humanity instead of gambling on adding a few years to every “yours truly”?

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