All the discussions over whether one should use a cloth mask or an N95 mask get diverted by an innovative mask that LG seems to have launched. 

LG says in an official announcement that it has created the PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier mask that uses a pair of replaceable filters similar to those one finds in the same company’s air purifiers for home. 

LG says the mask has two electronically controlled fans and sensors to detect when the person is inhaling and exhaling. It adjusts the fan speeds accordingly.

LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier resolves the dilemma of homemade masks being of inconsistent quality and disposal masks being in short supply. The PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier employs two H13 HEPA filters, similar to the filters used in the company’s home air purifier products.

The company has skipped the specific mention of the mask’s use in containing the spread of COVID-19 but does not deny that the development has been in response to the pandemic.

Ergonomically designed based on extensive facial shape analysis, LG PuriCare Wearable fits snugly on the user’s face to minimize air leakage around the nose and chin. The design also makes it possible to wear the unit comfortably for hours on end. The efficient and lightweight 820mAh battery offers up to eight hours of operation in low mode and two hours on high.

But it is quick to give a disclaimer that usage hours claim is based on product usage at a temperature of 25 degrees Celsius. Results may vary depending on environmental conditions and other external factors.

Will it filter Inhalations as well as exhalations?
The Verge points out that the press release by LG makes no claims about the mask slowing the spread of coronavirus. While it mentions filtration of air, it says nothing whether only inhalations are filtered or exhalations too.

Medical authorities have repeatedly warned against the use of valve-type or respirator-facemasks as they filter only inhaled air for a person and not his/her exhalations, leaving those around them vulnerable to the exposure of expelled respiratory droplets. Unfiltered exhalations could pose a hazard to those around a person wearing the respirator type mask, warns medics.

LG has not commented on this part, says The Verge. LG does claim, however, that this is an environmentally responsible solution as every component of LG PuriCare Wearable – from the filters to the ear straps – are replaceable and recyclable.

Exactly when the mask will release or how much it will cost, has not been declared as yet. LG says the mask will be available in the market in the fourth quarter of this year in “select markets”.

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World news – GB – LG unveils wearable air purifier mask with HEPA filters, electronically scrubs inhalations

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