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J Air Waste Manag Assoc. 2013 Apr;63(4):453-61.

Assessment of penetration through vacuum cleaners and recommendation of wet cyclone technology.

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Environmental Technology Institute, Coway Co. Ltd., Seoul, Korea.du.


In many commercial vacuum cleaners, the captured aerosol particles contained in the dust collector may accidentally release from the exhaust filtration owing to leakage or penetration. Vacuum cleaners may cause dust to become airborne by exhausting air that is not completely filtered. This may cause the operator to inhale dust, in turn causing health problems. This study aimed to investigate the dust penetration rates from three commercial vacuum cleaners and suggest the best technique for completely filtering exhaust air using a combination of cyclonic separation and water filtration. The commercial vacuum cleaners were tested inside a custom-built hood, and the exhausted particles were monitored using a sampling probe in conjunction with an aerosol particle sizer Quartzose mineral dusts were added to each vacuum cleaner through the dust transport line. A 2400 L/min wet cyclone was employed as the proposed vacuum cleaner It was designed using Stokes scaling, and its collection characteristics were evaluated using polystyrene latex beads. Surprisingly, the conventional vacuum cleaners failed to capture an overall average of approximately 14% of the particles in the given size range. However, only approximately 3.8% of the collected particles escaped from the vacuum cleaner that used the wet cyclone technology. Thus, the proposed vacuum cleaner should potentially be an effective method for vacuuming household dust.


The successful investigation of conventional vacuum cleaners is useful for both manufacturers and users. As an effective vacuum cleaning mechanism, household dust is able to migrate along the thin water, film that forms on the inner walls of the cyclone vacuum cleaner. It collects dust in a small water inflow (3 mL/min), which allows it to capture a higher percentage of contaminants than most of the currently available vacuum cleaners. The significantly low accidental exposure rates achieved by this new vacuum cleaner enable healthy conditions in various environments, including indoors.

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