Vacuum cleaner emissions as a source of indoor exposure to airborne particles and bacteria

Knibbs, Luke D., He, Congrong, Duchaine, Caroline, & Morawska, Lidia (2012) Vacuum cleaner emissions as a source of indoor exposure to airborne particles and bacteria. Environmental Science and Technology, 46(1), pp. 534-542.

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Vacuuming can be a source of indoor exposure to biological and non-biological aerosols, although there is little data that describes the magnitude of emissions from the vacuum cleaner itself. We therefore sought to quantify emission rates of particles and bacteria from a large group of vacuum cleaners and investigate their potential determinants, including temperature, dust bags, exhaust filters, price and age. Emissions of particles between 0.009 and 20 µm and bacteria were measured from 21 vacuums. Ultrafine (<100 nm) particle emission rates ranged from 4.0 × 10^6 to 1.1 × 10^11 particles min-1. Emission of 0.54 to 20 µm particles ranged from 4.0 × 10^4 to 1.2 × 10^9 particles min-1. PM2.5 emissions were between 2.4 × 10-1 and 5.4 × 10^3 µg min-1. Bacteria emissions ranged from 0 to 7.4 × 10^5 bacteria min-1 and were poorly correlated with dust bag bacteria content and particle emissions. Large variability in emission of all parameters was observed across the 21 vacuums we assessed, which was largely not attributable to the range of determinant factors we assessed. Vacuum cleaner emissions contribute to indoor exposure to non-biological and biological aerosols when vacuuming, and this may vary markedly depending on the vacuum used.

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15 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 48333
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Indoor exposure, Bacteria, Particles, Environmental Health
DOI: 10.1021/es202946w
ISSN: 0013-936X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (050000) > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND MANAGEMENT (050200) > Environmental Monitoring (050206)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES (060000) > MICROBIOLOGY (060500) > Microbiology not elsewhere classified (060599)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (111705)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Past > Schools > Physics
Copyright Owner: Copyright © 2011 American Chemical Society
Deposited On: 30 Jan 2012 23:25
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2017 10:26

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