Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?
You catch a whiff of a co-worker's new fragrance, and within minutes, you have a whopper of a headache.
You pop open that new bottle of dish-washing liquid, and by the time you've washed the pots and pans, your hands and arms are covered in hives.
You walk into a friend's home and smell freshly baked pumpkin pie. Only after you start sneezing uncontrollably and feeling dizzy, weak, and sick to your stomach do you learn she hasn't been baking --...
One study found that some vacuum cleaners throw fine dust and germs back into the air, where they can trigger allergies and spread infections.
But don’t stop vacuuming forever! Most good vacuums suck up more dust, dirt, and allergens than they spit out.
The vacuums that seem to cause the most problems are older, cheaper models. Newer ones that cost more generally do a better job of containing allergens. If your vacuum cleaner is aging and dirty, it’s time for a new one.
Some experts say you should get a vacuum cleaner with a high-efficiency HEPA filter. Others say the best vacuums are central units. With these, the motor and filter are outside your house, so dust and dirt are filtered away. One drawback is the cost -- central vacuums are more expensive because you have the installation cost.
Other ways to keep the air clean in your home:
Wash throw rugs every week in hot water to kill dust mites and other allergens.
Use a microfiber or electrostatic cloth for dusting. They don't stir up dust or allergens.
Replace carpeting, if you can, with tile or hardwood floors.