The Dangers of Vacuuming

Congratulations on an excellent May/June 1996 issue! Very seldom do I read any magazine and find fewer things to pick at than this particular issue of

EBN. But I do have two. As we have discussed in the past, the name of CMHC, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, would seem to make more sense as the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, which we are. The correct version is, however, the Canada M… As you can guess, you are not the first to get it wrong.

I also was happy to see that you warn people off using conventional vacuum cleaners to remove fine particulate from the air. The more you use them, the more fine particulate will be found floating in the air. Since it is the very fine stuff that we are worried about, and it takes the longest time to settle out of the air, it is ironic that more vacuuming means more exposure, not less.

You were also one of the few that pointed out that central vacuum cleaners were different, if they exhaust to the outdoors. Here again it is important for your readers to understand another irony. Because of the construction of the filter bag in a central vacuum cleaner, it lets more fine dust through than some common drag-along vacuums. If the central unit just vents into the basement, next to the forced-air furnace for instance, it is worse than a conventional vacuum. The difference is in the details. Vent a central vacuum outdoors and it is a very good device for reducing fine particulate exposure. Vent it indoors and it may be one of the worst.

“Get it right or pay the price,” would appear to be the story line.

Jim White

CMHC National Office

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Published July 1, 1996

(1996, July 1). The Dangers of Vacuuming. Retrieved from https://www.buildinggreen.com/op-ed/dangers-vacuuming

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