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
Cyclones And HEPA Filters
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The Cyclone-Type: "Especially Dirty"

Due to intensive marketing, the so-called cyclone-type vacuum cleaner has become increasingly popular. The engine turns the air it sucks, repels the dust by centrifugal force and throws it into a container or bag. In fact, this type of vacuum cleaner appears to produce the dirtiest exhaust.

The centrifugal force only removes big dust particles from the air. Then to remove the small dust particles the machines are designed with different types of filters. Finally, the smallest dust is supposed to be removed by the so-called High Efficiency Particle Air (HEPA) filter. According to the cleverly worded advertising, the air emitted from the cyclone-type has become clean.

However, nothing could be further from the truth. The design of such machines often have holes in the body of the vacuum cleaner to allow some of the air to pass through more easily. This is necessary for suction force to be maintained. Also, if the filters were more air-tight, it would be rather impossible to maintain the suction force needed for a strong suction effect. The HEPA filter is especially difficult for the air to pass through. Thus the holes in the body are a surprising design solution, and it is from these holes that a lot of dust particles are emitted.

The Toshiba cyclone machine has three filters, all with fancy names. Sanyo also makes a model that supposedly releases the emitted air in a "more soft" way, whatever that means! Clever ads are cheating consumers, withholding important information about air pollution dispersed into the air of your house. Read more here about Dyson, another cyclone-type machine which is also not as perfectly designed as its massive marketing department would like consumers to believe!

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