Dyson’s global dust study suggests that heightened cleaning schedules are being abandoned as the world reopens after the COVID-19 pandemic



Hong Kongers Clean Their Homes Less Frequently After the COVID-19 Pandemic and Very Few of Them Realise the Importance of Effective Filtration

HONG KONG SAR - Media OutReach - 27 April 2023 - Today, Dyson announces the results of its annual global dust study, investigating cleaning habits and behaviours, our understanding of household dust and its potential impact on our well-being.

Dyson's team of in-house microbiologists have been studying real dust from around the world for almost 20 years, analysing particles measuring 70 microns in size – the width of human hair – right down to 0.1 microns, the size of a virus. Dyson's labs are also home to a farm of dust mites, enabling scientists to collect their faeces and learn more about dust mite allergens. Only through this extensive research can Dyson engineers continue to engineer new vacuum cleaner technologies, to better deal with the conditions they face in the real world.

The global dust study[1], undertaken by over 30,000 people from 39 countries, reveals that post-pandemic, cleaning habits globally are slipping. 60% of people now admit to only cleaning when they see visible dust or dirt – this number has risen by 20% since last year. Over the past year, Hong Konger's attitude towards cleaning their homes have drastically changed. They have become less proactive and more reactive in cleaning noticeable dust. This is evidenced by seeing 56% of them only motivated to clean their home when they see dust. This figure rose by 50% from last year's global dust study. Hong Kong respondents claim that they understand the importance of having their home properly sanitised more than their peers in the Greater China region. But only 1 in 4 Hong Kong people clean their homes regularly – a major decline from last year (43%).

"The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the presence of viruses in indoor environments and emphasised the need for regular cleaning to maintain a healthy home", said Monika Stuczen, Research Scientist in Microbiology at Dyson. "This significant increase in the number of people only cleaning when they spot visible dust is a cause for concern, as many dust particles – including viruses and bacteria – are microscopic in size and not visible to the naked eye."

Are people neglecting hidden spots for a proper cleaning?

Dyson's study reveals that awareness of what's in our household dust – and therefore what we're trying to remove – is low. Hong Kong people's overall awareness of the presence of viruses in dust stands at 1 in 3 people across the region, lower than the global average. Only 17% of Hong Kongers know that sofas can harbour viruses. What is more striking is that only 2 out of 5 Hong Kongers clean behind their sofas, which is the lowest in the Greater China region. Bed linen is another place that is being overlooked by Hong Kongers when they are cleaning their homes. Only 1 out 2 Hong Kongers clean it on a regular basis. On average, this is less often than in other parts of the world.

"COVID-19 highlighted transmission via respiratory events such as coughing or sneezing but there is growing evidence that small aerosol droplets can be carried around indoor environments on air currents, like cigarette smoke, and settle on surfaces" says Monika. "If people are more aware of what's in their dust and how it can be spread around the home, they can better focus their time and attention when cleaning to support their wellbeing.

Are people underestimating the importance of filtration in vacuum cleaning?

Ensuring a healthy environment is the top reason globally for people wanting to rid their home of dust. While many people assume that if dust and dirt is picked up then the problem is solved, vacuum cleaning is pointless without thorough filtration.

Dyson's dust study reveals that awareness of filters overall is low, and despite it becoming a buzzword during the pandemic, just 1 in 4 Hong Kongers understand the importance of effective filtration when it comes to removing dust. About half of them believe that HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) does not need to be replaced.

HEPA filter vs. HEPA product

A common misconception is that any machine equipped with a HEPA filter makes it a HEPA product. According to ASTM, a world-leading standards institute, it is not enough for just the final, post-motor filter to be HEPA-grade; every single filter and seal throughout the machine must be HEPA-grade for it to be considered a HEPA product.

"The best filter cannot provide clean air if there is an opportunity for dirty air to leak out of the machine – so our engineers worked hard to ensure that all our Dyson vacuums have whole-machine filtration. In our Gen5detect vacuum, we went a step further with HEPA filtration to ensure that even virus particles as small as 0.1 microns remain trapped in the machine." Charlie Park, Vice President of Floorcare at Dyson

The importance of keeping pets clean in Hong Kong

Only 1 in 3 households in Hong Kong that have a pet keep their animal clean on a regular basis. Most of them seek to trim their pet's hair when grooming but only one-third of them remove viruses that could possibly be on their pet's fur. Only 16% of Hong Kong pet owners use a pet-focused vacuum tool to remove possible viral particles from their four-legged friend. Despite 41% of pet owners in Hong Kong are aware that their furry friends can carry viruses, almost one-third of them allow their pets to sleep with them.

"We hope our latest global dust study will continue to encourage people to think about what can reside in household dust, and how that might impact the well-being of those in their household. The best way to remove dust is by using a vacuum cleaner with effective filtration and sealing technology, to ensure that whatever you vacuum remains trapped and is not expelled back into the home." Monika Stuczen, Research Scientist in Microbiology at Dyson.


[1] 33,997 online interviews across a representative sample of 39 countries. Fieldwork was conducted between 11th January and 6th February 2023. Data has been weighted at a 'Global' level to be representative of different population sizes.



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About The Dyson Global Dust Study 2023
The Dyson Global Dust Study 2022 is a 15-minute online survey undertaken by 33,997 people across 39 countries. Fieldwork was conducted between the 11th January to 6th February 2023 and data has been weighted at a 'global' level to be representative of different population sizes.

DYSON TECHNOLOGY
  • with air purification: Advanced noise cancelling removes unwanted environmental and motor noise, and high-fidelity precision audio replicates sound as the artist or creator intended. Powered by the smallest compressors in any Dyson machine, the Dyson Zone™ draws air through the electrostatic filters in each earcup to capture 99% of particles as small as 0.1 microns, and potassium-enriched carbon filters remove city fumes, to deliver cleaner air to the wearer's nose and mouth via a contact-free visor.
  • : Our most powerful cordless vacuum featuring a new fifth generation HyperdymiumTM motor. The machine also features a fully sealed, whole-machine HEPA filtration system, engineered to capture 99.99% of particles down to 0.1 microns2, as small as viruses3. A new Fluffy Optic™ cleaner head reveals twice the microscopic dust with increased brightness and range – so you can see exactly where to clean.
  • : A new generation of cordless vacuum cleaners, launched in March 2021, feature an illuminated cleaner head that reveals hidden dust, while an acoustic piezo sensor measures and records the dust and debris that has been sucked up.
  • : Dyson's most manoeuvrable vacuum with the first omnidirectional Fluffy™ cleaner head. Proprietary Dyson floorcare technology is concentrated and rearranged in-line, allowing it to lie flat and clean into tight spaces.
  • : Now with precision solid-state formaldehyde sensing and catalytic formaldehyde destruction, Dyson's newest generation of intelligent air purifiers is the most advanced yet in tackling airborne particle and gas pollutants, whilst heating and cooling your space.

About Dyson
About Dyson
  • Despite significant challenges and lost production from the Covid-19 pandemic and a global chip shortage, Dyson announced strong 2021 revenue growth of 5% to £6.0bn (2020: £5.7bn) and profits (EBITDA) up 16% to £1.5bn (2020: £1.3bn).
  • Since introducing the revolutionary cordless vacuum format, Dyson has now sold more than 70m cord-free machines around the world.
  • In 2022 Dyson attended the International Conference on Robotics and Automation and gave its biggest clue to the future of household robotics, releasing for the first time of early-stage household robotics research across its Hullavington and Singapore campuses.
  • Dyson undertook one of the broadest studies of Air Quality during lockdown, using our air quality backpacks in 14 cities as well as data from our connected purifiers in homes around the world. Results indicated a rise in PM2.5 levels indoors during lockdown as people were spending more time within their homes.
  • The James Dyson Foundation funds a £1.5m dementia research Fellowship in partnership with Race Against Dementia, a charity founded by former F1 driver Sir Jackie Stewart. The Fellow, Dr Claire Durrant, seeks to establish new human models of Alzheimer's disease, investigating the role of tau – a protein implicated in dementia.
  • This Autumn, the Dyson Cancer Centre at Royal United Hospitals will open, following a £4m donation from the James Dyson Foundation. The centre will be the cancer services hub for 500,000 people in the Southwest of England.
  • The James Dyson Award launches in Portugal for the first time in 2023. Since 2005, the Award has supported 390 inventions from young people around the world.
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