Japan Offspring Fund(JOF) is a consumer group and environmental NGO established in 1984. We have researched issues involving the safety of daily life, including chemical residues, endocrine disruptors, and genetically engineered food.

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Testing Vacuum Cleaners
Using Vacuum Cleaner With Windows Closed May Cause
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Interview with Dr. Masahiko Terasawa, Terasawa Pediatric Clinic in Sendai City

For about 15 years, different expensive vacuum cleaners have been marketed as useful for people with tick or dust mite allergies. But people who use such machines are at risk, according to Dr. Masahiko Terasawa at the Terasawa Pediatric Clinic in Sendai City, Japan. There have been reports of cases when people suffering from allergies had terrible reactions due to vacuum cleaning exhaust emitted into the interior air. Asthma and eczema are reported to have improved when vacuum cleaning has been replaced by other room cleaning methods.

Experts now realize that the dust particles emitted from many vacuum cleaners are a health problem. Some manufacturers sell a long hose or tube to make it possible to avoid being near the exhaust air. Even so, if the vacuum cleaner is in the same room, you might notice that the interior air smells bad. There have been reports of breathing problems associated with vacuum cleaning use, and even links to pneumonia. One report noted that a baby crawling near a vacuum cleaner developed an allergic reaction. For people with tick or dust mite allergies, vacuum cleaning can also cause severe problems, including symptoms of hay fever.

A design problem with several models of vacuum cleaners is that they crush the dust particles or dust mites. To crush or pulverize allergens is in fact not a good idea. Vacuum cleaners that use such phrases in their promotion are unfortunately widely available in Japan.
Pollens are the tiny, egg-shaped male cells of flowering plants. Pollen are microscopic, powdery granules. The average pollen particle is less than the width of an average human hair. Many trees, grasses and low-growing weeds have small, dry pollens that are easily carried by wind currents and easily reach the interior of you house. These are the pollens that trigger allergy symptoms. Fecal material from ticks or dust mite droppings, as well as their dead bodies, are also known allergens. The best way to avoid allergic reactions is to stop using a vacuum cleaner. Instead, open the windows wide, pick up a broom or a wet cloth, and wipe the floors.

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