A book authored by Prof. Dr. med., Dr.- Ing.habil. Wilfried Diebschlag
Medical Doctor for Occupational Health, Technische Universität München and Chairman of German Gesellschaft für Gesundheit und Ernährung e.v.
House Dust Mite Control
... In Germany, a large number of humidifiers are available on the market using different technologies (cold air, hot-air evaporator/vaporizer etc.). These may be large, high-performance devices, or smaller devices used at work spaces or in private homes. Hot-air vaporizers prevent germ formation in the water tank. They do not use wet filters, which can be hygienically critical. After the device has been switched off, the water tank must be emptied and dried up immediately.
Ideally, air humidity levels do not sink below 35% r.F. as this may cause drying of the nasal passage and bronchial mucosa (Rhinitis sicca) and discomfort. There is likely to be a correlation to the Sick Building Syndrome (Baur 11; Brede-Weisflog 33). Due to possible mite formation and the afore-mentioned physiological and hygienic problems the relative air humidity should be between 35% and 60% r.F.
184.108.40.206 Room and Air Purification Systems
In Germany, in work and private environments people spend more than 90% of their daytime in a sitting or lying position. Body functions such as breathing may be drastically reduced. Rooms and ambient air are often contaminated with allergic substances, dust, cigarette smoke and chemically irritating and/or toxic substances from chipboard furniture (=> HVBG (17)/G23;G29: aerosols, dicarboxylic acid anhydrides, formaldehydes, isocyanates, irritant gases, solvents), PVC floors, bonded carpets, wall paints, varnish, paints, or glazed surface. There may therefore be a lack of the hygienic standards and natural fresh air (see Diller 58a and Kaberlah et al. 96) that allergy sufferers require. Correspondingly, the occupational diseases BK no. 4301 and 5101 may also apply to private environments.
The first home vacuum cleaner built by the American J. M. Spangler (1907) is based on the findings of H. C. Booth (1901) and M.R. Bissel (1876). As of 1908, the power-generated vacuum devices produced by Hoover became a worldwide sales success. In Germany alone, 10 million vacuum cleaners and approx. 100 million filter bags are sold every year! However, up until only a few years ago, no one has thought of the unhygienic conditions and other negative health aspects such as allergies which are caused by the wide variety of filter dust bags used in every vacuum cleaner. If the air loaded with contaminated substances were to be sucked through a water tank equipped with a >Centrifugal Fine Particles Separator< instead of dust bags and filters used in conventional vacuum cleaners (= dry vacuum cleaner), wet/humid dirt, as well as germs and allergens would be separated far more efficiently. Workplace doctors are familiar with the water-based principle. Had Mr. Hoover been a doctor he may have considered the fact that nature has designed the breathing organs of humans and animals as >Water Vacuum Cleaners< which catch dust and germ substances at the humid air way and mucous membrane with every breath.
The level of purity of the air coming out of a vacuum cleaner largely depends on the overall design and, in particular, of the quality of the separator (image 29). The following technical features are a prerequisite:
- Variable turbojet blower ranging from 0.5 to 2 m³ air suction/min;
- Completely sealed motor, therefore no carbon dust is contained in the exhaust air;
- No foam or similar insulation material used to avoid germ generation;
- No dust whirled up, therefore avoiding alveolar-prone fine dust (< Ø 7 µm up to Ø 0,03 µm) by using two nozzles moving in the opposite direction, thus reducing the air flow rate to a large extent;
- High-performance 90-mm diameter L-Lamella technology infinitely variable from approx. 6,000 to 14,000 rpm, filtering even the finest exhaust air particles. This requires a technically optimized design of the separator in respect to volume and air flow (=> inflow velocity, rotation speed), particularly large ports (> 40 cm²) and separator lamella to improve air flow.
- High quality air ventilation and cleaning systems also fulfill electrical safety requirements, shielding, noise reduction by integrated resonance rooms, automatic motor control to optimize suction performance (>detection sensors<) depending on additionally mounted units, and electric brushes.
The hydro vacuum system DELPHIN by PROAIR fully complies with the requirements mentioned above. It is therefore not only a vacuum cleaner but also an efficient >Room Cleaner< ideal for asthma and allergy sufferers, and constitutes a highly valued, natural breathing facilitator. Air purification systems and methods, as i.e. mentioned by van Bronswijk (39) and Antonicelli et al. (4), fail to reach the efficiency level as described above (see table 12). Knowing that just a tiny amount of whirled-up ambient air contains at least 1.5 million particles sized 0 < 7 µm per milliliter (see Chapter 220.127.116.11) it is concluded that on average, with every breath taken the airway is bombarded with at least 30 trillion (!) germs, dust and allergic substances daily. A great number of scientific surveys and expert assessments (Gall et al. 74) nationally and internationally ascertain that hydro vacuum cleaning systems that are used as air cleaning systems reduce these harmful substances, and are particularly helpful to enhance sleep at night. The acuteness of atopic eczema and house mite allergies is statistically significantly reduced when regularly applying effective room cleaning systems.
These findings can be beneficial to one’s health and are therapeutically quite significant as almost one quarter of food allergies show organic manifestations in the airways (image 30). Any further exposure to mites and dust should therefore be minimized. Symptoms caused by allergens may be
- exhaustion, fatigue
- nervous tension, depressions
- (rheumatic) joint aches
- headaches, migraine
- cardiovascular diseases (high/low pulse, blood pressure, stomach ache)
- difficulty in breathing, obstruction, asthma
- skin problems, psoriasis
- hyperactive children, as well as
- irritation of conjunctiva, irritation of bronchial mucosa
- chronic colds
- sneezing fits, coughing
- skin rash, or quincke’s oedema.
This may result in sleep disorders, lack of regeneration, as well as other personal restsrictions (lack of wellbeing) and work restrictions (performance, fitness to drive). Furthermore, industry and trade organizations are aware that work-related dust conditions not only provide personal discomfort, but are also a health-risk, toxic and carcinogenic. Accordingly, effective exhaust ventilation and other technical solutions to protect employees are in place. According to BIA (German Berufsgenossenschaftliches Institut für Arbeitssicherheit), dust-removing systems are subdivided into different categories depending on the type of dust. Dust particles are generally subdivided into dust grades L (low), M (medium) and H (high, incl. carcinogenic dust and pathogens). With reference to threshold limit values and according to ZH 1/487 certain requirements for air filtering have to be met (see EU and DIN standards).