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HEPA filters have been traditionally used in hospital operating and isolation rooms, pharmaceutical and computer chip manufacturing, and other application requiring "absolute" filtration. Today HEPA filters are used in a wide variety of critical filtration application in the nuclear, electronic, aerospace, pharmaceutical and medical fields, and in equipment for asbestos abatement.
HEPA filters are highly recommended for allergy sufferers. The High Alpha Hepa filter meets the strict Military Standard 282 filtration efficiency test.
Why Use a HEPA Filter Vacuum?
For allergy and asthma sufferers, vacuuming can turn into a never-ending battle. Even the most valiant of vacuum cleaners may succumb to the battle and help cause a sneeze when allergens rear their nasty little heads. One of the reasons this may happen is that your tried and true vacuum cleaner is simply exhausting dirt every time you use it! Even expensive vacuum cleaners are left in the dust without adequate filtration. In order to have a fighting chance against indoor pollutants, a HEPA-filtered vacuum cleaner is the best, most cost effective way to help you control your environment.
First, let us look at some important facts pertaining to particle sizes:
Small particles are generally measured in fractions of a meter or "microns." One micron equals one one-millionth of a meter.
The following chart contains the particles sizes of some common items:
- Particles below 10 microns are invisible to the human eye.
- Human hair 80.0 - 100.0 microns
- Dust mite waste particles 10.0 - 24.0 microns
- Mold 4.0 -+ microns
- Pollen 10.0 - 40.0 microns
- Bacteria 0.3 - 50.0 microns
- Asbestos (fibers) 3.0 - 20.0 microns
- The most common airborne particle size is 2.4 microns.
- The most harmful Respirable Size Particle (RSP) is 0.3 microns.
- The average vacuum cleaner only filters particles from 30 to 50 microns, thus exhausting harmful respirable allergens back into the air.
Now let us look at the facts about filtration:
- Water filtration vacuum cleaners have been proven, in study after study, to dissolve allergens and then emit the particles back into the air through a mist.
- The efficiency rating of a vacuum cleaner is important when determining the actual filtration capabilities because it pertains to the ability a filter has to retain particles that pass through its media. For example, if a vacuum cleaner claims to filter 0.3 microns or smaller, it still will not be very effective unless it has a high efficiency rating. Efficiency ratings are stated in the form a percentage. One must remember to consider micron sizes and efficiencies when comparing vacuum cleaners.
- The standard HEPA filter must retain all particles down to and including 0.3 microns in size at 99.97% efficiency, thus retaining all harmful allergens.
- Many physicians have been recommending HEPA vacuums to their allergy patients.
The reader is cautioned that this is not an all-inclusive reference, but a necessarily selective survey intended to suggest the scope of the problem.