As wearable air purifiers become more and more popular, science cannot prove that it is effective against COVID | Inquirer News

2021-12-11 01:45:46 By : Ms. Jack zhang

Gadget believers. On July 6, 2021, President Rodrigo Duterte wore a necklace air purifier during his last State of the Union address. Malacañang Photos

Manila, Philippines-President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has repeatedly worn gadgets that look like necklaces and oversized pendants in public, and may unknowingly increase the popularity of wearable air filters degree.

The growth in the popularity of these gadgets can be seen in the number of brands or types appearing on online shopping sites, many of which are made in China and claim to have anti-virus features. advertise

The type and brand of wearable air filters surpassed variants of SARS Cov2, which is the virus that causes COVID-19, and these gadgets claim to protect the wearer from this virus.

According to surveys on online shopping sites, the prices of these gadgets range from at least P800 to P8,000 per item. Special report held a meeting with 9 mayors of Metro Manila NEWSINFO The kiss of death: the endorsement of the president means failure

However, wearable devices may ultimately be just a fashion trend, because experts including the Philippine Department of Health (DOH) said that there is no scientific evidence to prove that these devices are effective.

Some Filipino officials have accepted these gadgets.

In Cebu, the governor requires public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers to wear these gadgets when riding PUV routes.

However, the Ministry of Health announced that these gadgets may not provide protection against COVID-19 at all, and worse, it may give the wearer a false sense of security.

The requirement that PUV drivers in Cebu Province must wear these gadgets has caused many people to cancel their trips. Many Filipinos also want to know whether these gadgets are effective.

"The Ministry of Health does not recommend these air purifiers, these necklace purifiers," said Ma, the Deputy Minister of Health. Rosario Vergeire, spokesperson for the Ministry of Health.

"Although it is harmless, it does not provide protection against COVID-19," she said. advertise

"We don't recommend using a necklace air purifier because based on evidence and experts, it cannot provide protection," she added.

According to the DOH chief pathologist in Central Visayas, wearable air purifiers must not be used or even considered as an alternative protection against COVID-19.

No scientific research has shown that air purifiers, whether wearable or larger versions used in homes and hospitals, are effective against COVID-19.

Most equipment used in homes, offices, shops or medical facilities is equipped with a filter called high efficiency particulate air (HEPA).

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), these “in theory can remove at least 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria and any airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns”, which are invisible to the naked eye.

The Hong Kong Hospital Authority recommended the use of air purifiers with HEPA filters during the SARS outbreak in Hong Kong in 2003 to reduce the spread of the virus among health workers in facilities without isolation wards.

"Consumer Reports" Chief Scientific Officer James Dickerson said: "HEPA filters are very effective at capturing coronavirus-sized particles, but these particles must first physically reach the filter."

However, since it is impossible to determine in which direction the virus will spread, air purifiers with HEPA filters need to continuously inhale enough air to reduce virus particles in the room.

There is no research or research to support the claim that these types of air purifiers can prevent the spread of SARS Cov2.

Air purifiers can filter viruses in the air, but this does not guarantee the effectiveness of preventing COVID-19.

Health Desk, a public health initiative of Meedan, a non-profit technology organization, stated that the mini air purifier hung on the necklace "has not been proven to prevent COVID-19 infection, and so far there has been no research on its effectiveness."

Health Desk says that larger air purifiers that use HEPA filters "if used properly can help reduce the tiny fraction of viruses in the air in a home or confined space." "But they are not enough to protect people from COVID-19," it said.

Using air purifiers at home or as a wearable device will not cause any harm, but again, there is no scientific data to show that they can fight COVID-19.

According to the website of SmartAirFilters.Com, a company that develops industrial-grade or commercial air purifiers, the technologies used for larger versions and wearable air purifiers are different.

According to SmartAirFilters, although larger air purifiers use HEPA filters, the air purifiers connected to the necklace as wearable devices use ionizers.

It said that scientists in China and California tested four types of wearable air purifiers by placing each purifier in a chamber less than one square meter. The scientists measured how each wearable device removes tiny particles in the air.

"The result? Three of the four wearable ionizers tested removed less than 10% of particles 20 cm away from it," SmartAirFilter said.

The company said: “10% protection is not very good, much lower than the 95% virus protection obtained by wearing a mask.”

SmartAirFilter stated that the tests in China and California were conducted in closed spaces with no flowing air. "These wearable air purifiers may perform worse when worn on the neck in the real world," it said.

SmartAirFilter said that although people generally believe that wearing an air purifier necklace is harmless, these gadgets can actually cause harm.

It said that various studies have shown that wearable purifiers produce ozone, which is composed of three oxygen atoms. "Ozone is harmful to the human body and can damage the lungs," SmartAirFilter said.

The company said: “The exact amount of ozone produced by each personal purifier may vary greatly, but ordinary consumers cannot be sure of the level of ozone produced by their equipment.”

SmartAirFilter said: "The exact amount of ozone produced by each ionizer can vary greatly, but some have been shown to produce harmful levels."

“Some marketers try to sell consumers that the ozone produced by ionizers is different from other ozone and therefore harmless. This is wrong,” it said.

It said that the ozone produced by wearable purifiers may pose other serious health risks. Ozone can react with chemicals in personal care products and produce dangerous by-products such as formaldehyde and PM2.5 or particulate matter.

"All of this will happen in the head area," SmartAirFilter said.

It said that ionizers, like wearable purifiers, “work by attaching pollution to nearby surfaces and removing them from the air.”

"But if the nearest surface is your body, there is a problem," the company said.

"When you wear an ionic air purifier, your face, body, and clothes absorb pollutants like magnets," it said.

"This may cause dirty clothes and skin, and even inhale more pollutants," SmartAirFilter said.

A Philippine online shopping site ranks wearable air purifiers as one of the best-selling products, possibly because of the pandemic.

At a grocery store in Makati City, a cashier was asked whether the purifier hung around her neck was effective.

She just smiled and said, "Prayers also help."

For more news about the novel coronavirus, click here. What you need to know about the coronavirus. For more information about COVID-19, please call the DOH hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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