You may have seen politicians or some of your friends wearing 'necklace air purifiers’, supposedly as an added protective measure against COVID-19. These purifiers are widely available in online shopping apps like Shopee and Lazada. These products tout their benefits, as one advertisement declares: “This ionic air purifier releases more than 150 million negative ion-purified air to remove contaminants from your personal space. Scientifically proven, it can effectively purify air polluted by indoor air and indoor harmful substances (such as pollen, dust), second-hand smoke and bacteria, mold, formaldehyde, and even PM2.5 air pollutants, which can improve your mood and sleep.”
However, there is actually no evidence to support their use. As Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said, “Right now we do not recommend the use of necklace air purifiers, and evidence and experts say that it's not going to provide you with protection... I hope we do not use it” (CNN Philippines Staff, 2021). She added that it might lead to a false sense of security.
Moreover, as a recent report in the Philippine Daily Inquirer noted (Baclig, 2021), some studies suggest that wearing these necklaces can even be harmful.
What is clearly established, however, is that better ventilation can reduce the risk of COVID-19 viral spread. This means that people should prioritize better air circulation and holding activities outdoors whenever possible, alongside wearing masks properly in places where this is not possible.
1. CNN Philippines Staff. (2021). https://cnnphilippines.com/news/2021/8/16/Wearable-air-purifier-Cebu-PUV.html
2. Baclig. C. E. (2021). https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1474897/as-wearable-air-purifiers-grow-popular-science-cant-show-proof-it-works-vs-covid