Proximity to high particle concentration while sweeping with African broom increases the risk of developing health problems

Indoor Air Cartoon Journal, September 2019, Volume 2, #74

The impact of human activities in causing settled particles to resuspend into the air are documented in the literature. For most of these activities, there is usually no proximity of human nose to resuspended particles. Sweeping of floor with African broom that causes a high amount of settled particles to be resuspended due to high vigour it creates has received little or no attention in the literature. The use of African broom in a dusty environment is a public health concern because the nature of its usages requires proximity of nose to the floor where the particles are generated.

The usage of the African broom is prevalent in countries where the outdoor environment is usually very dusty because of untarred roads and many sources that generate a high amount of particles. These outdoor particles usually find their way into the indoor environment. The toxic organic contents of these particles make them a threat to human health. Unfortunately, people do not use mask when they sweep with the broom. Their inability to purchase cleaning equipment that does not require proximity of nose to generated particles make them vulnerable. The irregularity or lack of electricity supply to power the equipment contributes to the vulnerability.

In such a situation, a broom that prevents bending and proximity of the nose to the source of particle generation, but yet effective like the traditional African broom will help to reduce the exposure and inhalation. Covering of the nose with mask coupled with the suggested solution will be helpful. More research efforts are needed to document the exposure and inhalation rate when African broom is used to sweep the floor, and the resulting health implications.

74. African broom_74

Do you want to more about how vigour of disturbance to the indoor surfaces could increase the concentration of particles in the air, and the implication of the inhaled particles on human health? Read Ferro et al. (2004), Kappos et al. (2004), and Wichmann and peter (2000) papers.

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