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LG’s mask is an ‘air purifier’

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LG Purimask silent on whether it can stop the COVID virus dead on its tracks. / Photograph courtesy of LG

The “LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier,” a battery-powered mask which the company says will “supply fresh, clean air indoors and out” will be available in select markets in the fourth quarter of the year.

Boasting of fans and HEPA filters on the left and right side, the mask is for all practical purposes a tiny air purifier although LG’s media statement made no mention of whether it was designed against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The company said the mask can be worn for eight hours per charge and that its patented respiratory sensor can detect the cycle and volume of the wearer’s breath.

Doing so, the mask adjust the dual three-speed fans which, LG maintained, can automatically sync up with the wearer’s breaking. It speeds up the fans when inhaling and slows them down exhaling.

The fans will “make breathing effortless,” according to the company which has yet to provide other technical data like dimension and weight, other than it uses an 820mAh battery.

Good for eight hours on “low” setting, the battery will only last two hours on “high” fan speed setting.

Recharging the mask also disinfects it with ultraviolet light-emitting diodes and is supported by an app that alerts the wearer when it is time to replace the filters.

Like a medical-grade N95 mask, HEPA filters such as those used in the LG mask may stop respiratory particles, although the company only says it “takes in clean, filtered air.”

However, it doesn’t say whether exhalations are also filtered to protect people around the wearer.

A caveat: Both the US Centers for Diseases Control and the Philippines’ Department of Health do not recommend the use of “valved” masks in stopping the spread of COVID-19.

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