I just moved from an apartment complex where the stipple ceiling
plaster contained 1.5% asbestos. The apartment management was not
very fastidious about proper cleaning procedures when the plaster was
disturbed during maintenance work. I moved at a time shortly after
maintenance was done on lighting fixtures in the hallways, so there
were specks of the stuff on the hallway carpets. I'm pretty sure that
residual amounts of the stuff got picked by my belongings as I moved
out. Since I've unpacked and rummaged through some of my belongings
in the new place, I thought it would be wise to vacuum everything with
a HEPA vacuum.
HEPA filtered vacuums seem to be made by many manufacturers, but there
is no independent testing of their efficacy. In the absence of such
information, the only information to go on is anecdotes and reputation
that results from anecdotes. According to an air purifier researcher
that I know, specialists in asthma and allergies recommend Miele and
Dyson. My general impression is that Miele is more known for their
HEPA filtered vacuums. There is also Zelmer, but they haven't yet
established a reputable track record. Finally, I was also thinking
about a HEPA filtered ShopVac.
I thought that I might as well get the vacuum properly decked out with
accessories for use as a general vacuum cleaner, beyond just the
initial decontamination of my belongings. That comes with a hefty
price tag, over $1,000 after taxes. In spite of this extraordinary
cost, the driving consideration is still efficacy in filtering for
decontamination and ease of use as a general vacuum cleaner.
Considering the dearth of indepedent testing info, and the complete
reliance on anecdote, I was wondering what people's experiences have
been with the HEPA filtered versions of Miele versus ShopVac?