During World War II, HEPA filters were created to remove radioactive particles from the air. HEPA stands for “High Efficiency Particulate Air,” and by definition, a HEPA filter must capture at least 99.97% of all particles down to 0.3 microns in size.
Household allergens average between one and ten microns in size. We recommend that allergy sufferers only use vacuums that feature HEPA filtration. Without a HEPA filter, the allergens that get sucked into the vacuum will pass through the bag’s pores with the outgoing air and get blown back out into the environment through the vacuum’s exhaust.
A HEPA filter, however, is guaranteed to trap virtually all household allergens. Dead human skin cells make up about 80% of household dust. Dust also contains hair, lint, animal dander, dust mites, pollen, mold spores, insect appendages in various states of decay, soil from the outdoors, and often toxic chemicals. Until you vacuum your carpet with a HEPA-filtered vacuum, these particles will remain in the carpet and enter the indoor air when they’re stirred up.
Today HEPA air filter units, vacuums, and purifiers are recommended for anyone suffering from allergies, asthma, and other respiratory problems because they do a great job at reducing the harmful particles in the air that further damage the lungs. Even if you don’t suffer from any of these conditions it is a good idea to use HEPA filtered products in your home because they reduce toxic gases, chemicals, bacteria, carcinogens, along with a host of other harmful substances.