Statistics tell us that dust kills up to 50,000 US citizens each year. You may expect that this would be due to lung and chest disease, however other diseases such as heart disease and eventual heart attacks are a major cause of death due to dust. While we can see many of the larger particles – the ones you can easily sweep up with a vacuum cleaner or the ones you can see floating around in the middle of a light beam, the most dangerous particles to your heart are the invisible ones, the ones which are so tiny you can’t see them at all.
The dust in your home often contains fiber particles from fibers, skin, pet skin, as well as pet hair, fur, feathers, saliva and urine. It also includes particles from food, pollen, and dust mites. Actually your home is full of dust and it gets stirred up each time you vacuum, clean, dust, cook or move about your home. Unfortunately once the dust is in the air it can also pick up air-borne chemicals such as acidic aerosols and toxic chemicals and metals. If you then inhale these particles these chemicals – especially the aerosols can dissolve into your blood and lead to lots of health issues including, but not limited to your respiratory system. They basically poison you.
Just as different particles vary in size, they also vary in the kind of effects they have on you. The largest dust particles which tend to range from 5-10 microns in size are usually deposited in your nasal cavities and cause congestion, inflammation and sometimes lead to ulcers in this area.
Next, we have particles in the 3-5 micron range. These particles tend to get into your lungs and can lead to bronchial congestion, bronchitis and other chest infections. However, there are other even smaller particles. These ones can penetrate your lungs farther and even enter your blood stream. Once there, they can affect the ability of your heart to regulate its rhythm in response to changes in
demand such as when you are exercising. This can easily trigger the risk of having a heart attack.
In addition, dust in your homes can also carry tiny bugs such as the spore aspergillus. This spore is known to be able to lead to serious, and sometimes even fatal infections.
Dust mites are tiny microorganisms always found in homes. They live on dust and leave their allergen laden droppings on it. This can get into your lungs from the air you breathe, leading to many harmful breathing problems.
While vacuum cleaners can remove large particles, they are completely unable to remove the much smaller and dangerous chemicals so you should never rely on vacuuming your home to protect you from allergens. Indeed, vacuuming may stir up the dust and worsen the situation. To get rid of allergens you should invest in a good quality air purifier, especially one that can not only remove particles, pollen and pet dander and hair, but is also able to kill allergen producing mites, spores or other microbes.
Air purifiers usually work by employing one of several technologies. Most of them work by by capturing particles in very fine filters usually HEPA or True HEPA filters. Others known as ionic or ionizer based air purifiers work by using an electrostatic charge to attract and clump, and then retain dust particles. Other technologies used include using an active carbon or activated carbon pre-filter to remove particles – and especially odors, before they get to the main filter. Another popular technology is the use of ultraviolet rays to kill microbes safely.
Essentially, you should purchase a combo air purifier, one which combines the use of many different technologies to give you the combined benefit of each technology. Some combination air purifiers can have up to 6 or 7 technologies and filter stages. Of course the more technologies your air purifier has, the more expensive it it likely to be.