Vacuum Cleaners – Old vs New

A new study suggests that bacteria, mould and dust found in older vacuum cleaners can pose health risks if they are not handled with caution. The study focused on several vacuum models and the dirt they retain, concluding that they can contain bacteria which can greatly affect your health. The study was conducted at the University of Queensland in New Zealand and the Laval University in Quebec, eventually being published in the Journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology.


How to HEPA?

If you don’t have a good vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, or having air quality issues, you need to learn how to vacuum a room professionally.


In total, air emissions from twenty one different vacuum cleaners were sampled by the researchers. The vacuum cleaners all varied in terms of age and quality and the samples were collected while they were running; researchers also collected samples from the dust bags. In the sampled bacteria from the vacuum cleaners, researchers discovered resistant genes for 5 common antibiotics. This raised a great reason for concern, due to the fact that the dust many of us have indoors may be a perfect carrier of the infant botulism infection. When the infection is contracted, it can lead to grave health complications, SIDS and even death.

A previous study supports these results and it suggested the fact that bacteria bred by the human hair and skin may cause health problems when suspended in the air and inhaled.

Given the results of the studies, it’s recommended that people consider using HEPA filters because they help with weeding out the fine particles and allergens in the air. One aspect to remember though is that the filters need to be changed frequently.

At the end of the day, having an old vacuum is very risky for your health. If you are educated on the longevity of your vacuum cleaner, but also on the importance of cleanliness of dust bags and filters, you’ll be able to protect yourself from the dangers.

Towards healthier living, Carol Parr ♥

I’ve worked with asthma and allergy sufferers for over twenty two years, specialising in mould, dust mites, chemicals, EMFs and WiFi, building materials and water. When I’m not turning unhealthy rooms into healthier, relaxing and productive spaces, I’m most likely frightening my husband and children with numerous “let’s see what this does when …” projects. You can visit me here at


  • Carol Parr

    We’re glad you’re here. We’re Carol and Tony, founders of one of the longest running Healthy Home Blogs in the world, Mitey Fresh Australia. We’ve been on this journey for the last 25 years and are passionate about helping families sift through health hazards and triggers like allergens, mould, water damage, chemicals and EMFs, to get clarity about what’s toxic and what’s not so they can create a healthy and happy home for their family they love. Each month, people visit this blog seeking focus on the health and wellbeing of their loved ones, sustainable and effective practice tips and guides, to help create and manage healthier indoor spaces, improve the built environment that is pleasing to the senses and support healthy living and nature, every day. Starting this blog was to help change people’s lives, one family at a time, and we can’t wait to share how its allowed us to stand next to you and show you how interpreting these synergies between buildings and the environment they are built in will impact upon the health and well-being of those who occupy them. Find out more about Healthy Homes and what this blog can do for you!

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