HEPA vacuum

Images and text by Garry Harrison,
Head, Circulating Collections Conservation,
Indiana University Libraries Preservation Department

HEPA vacuum

A vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particle Arrestor) filter is necessary for vacuum cleaning materials that have suffered from mold infestation. When used on mold, the average conventional vacuum cleaner works like a grass seeder, spewing the conidia and ascospores of the mold out its exhaust side, potentially creating an infestation or worsening an existing one in those cases involving in situ cleaning of materials. Toxin- and/or allergen-bearing hyphal fragments are broadcast as well. But because the HEPA filter stops particles of infinitesimal size, these threats are greatly diminished. (Note: All appropriate precautions are to be taken at any disaster site suffering any degree of mold infestation.)

The model shown is equipped with an adjustable motor speed control. This can prove very handy when vacuum cleaning single-sheet paper materials.

(Also listed in "Disaster Supplies")

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