I personally love the products made by Dustless Technologies, for several reasons.
Note: Dustless was one of the sponsors of my film; I invited them to sponsor my film because I was (and remain) a huge fan of their pioneering products – as comprising some of the best options out there, and so my opinion is not influenced by the fact that they subsequently accepted my invitation to support the project!
Dustless makes true* HEPA-vacs in both a floor model (visually similar to the ubiquitous “shop-vac” style design) and backpack model.
My FAVORITE feature (as a mom of four boys) is the wet/dry feature! [You can suck up vomit into a bag that is already full of dust – just one notable application!] Where this applies to lead hazard remediation is that if you decide (for example) to wet scrub a concrete porch (with TSP and detergent and warm water and wire brushes – as we did) because it has tested positive for high levels of lead (our concrete front porch was 1,100 micrograms of lead per square foot AFTER our [later discovered to be] fraudulent abatement cleaners “did their job”, so we decided to clean it again ourselves!) , you can vacuum up the dirty water WHILE you scrub – without having to swap the bag out if it is already full of dust! Another fun application: it’s also useful for vacuuming out the crud water at the bottom of your hot tub, when you are changing the water! [Our most significantly lead-poisoned child has a therapy hot-tub that we use daily primarily because of his severe plaque psoriasis… one of the long-term symptoms of his acute lead-poisoning as a baby.]
I also LOVE the simple yet effective sealing system for sealing the bags when they are full (so they can’t emit clouds of leaded dust everywhere when you change the bag.)
Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links where a purchase made
after clicking will support this website without costing you extra!
Finally they are a great choice for families working with lead hazards (and contractors of course, too!) because of their comparatively reasonable price point [many competitors charge hundreds more for similar function sets!].
As explained in my footnote below*, please understand that many other brands sell their ordinary vacuums with a HEPA filter option (and when they market this option it highlights that they have HEPA filters.). These ordinary vacuums are not “HEPA-vacs”, just because they are fitted with a HEPA filter —and they are NOT suitable for working with lead. Ordinary vacuums fitted with HEPA filters can still spew clouds of lead contaminated dust, when they leak in normal use — and much more so if they are moved around, and particularly when the bag is removed/changed.
Short of a true HEPA-vac, I would choose a vacuum system that sucks everything into a water-filled chamber that then needs to be dumped out when full (because then there is at least perhaps less of a chance of the lead dust not becoming part of your household air again because it is contained in water.)
* There’s been understandable/intentionally-created confusion about the HEPA [High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance – as defined by filtration efficiency of at least 99.97% efficient on particles of 0.3 microns in size] acronym, as it applies to vacuum cleaners. A true HEPA vac is a precision system that has been designed to suck up and completely sequester/quarantine dust end-to-end (all the way through to its subsequent safe disposal); prior to recent more stringent regulatory legislation, many manufacturers have (whether deliberately or through ostensible “ignorance”) stated or implied that their inexpensive unsealed, messy, leaky ordinary vacuum cleaners were HEPA complaint – merely through the addition of a HEPA filter. Tragically, this led countless contractors – and even some “abatement” contractors (who arguably really should have known better) to use these inadequate/inappropriate vacs to attempt to clean up existing lead contamination (or ostensibly to prevent it during remodeling) – with disastrous results (the broadcasting of micro-particulate lead dust everywhere either during use and/or when emptying or changing out bags — thus exacerbating existing contamination—and in many cases, creating contamination where there had been none!)
As always, thanks for reading! Please let us know if you have any questions at all.
Tamara Rubin (& Len Rubin)
Unexpected Lead Expert(s)!
Mother (& Father!) of Four Sons