Air Purifiers in Spotlight amid Toxic Substance Controversy | Be Korea-savvy

Air Purifiers in Spotlight amid Toxic Substance Controversy


Public concerns over potential toxic filters grew after a media report that OIT was discovered in two of the five filters from major air purifier manufacturers. (image: KobizMedia/ Korea Bizwire)

Public concerns over potential toxic filters grew after a media report that OIT was discovered in two of the five filters from major air purifier manufacturers. (image: KobizMedia/ Korea Bizwire)

SEOUL, June 17 (Korea Bizwire) – The Oxy toxic humidifier sterilizer scandal has made Korean consumers highly alert to potential toxic substances included in other daily products. These concerns expanded to odor eliminators, and now to air purifiers.

As part of steps being taken to address rising concerns, air purifier manufacturers are offering free filter replacements to customers. 

Cuckoo Electronics responded on Thursday to accusations that Octylisothiazolinone (OIT) was detected in several domestic air purifier filters by admitting that even though its product contains extremely small amounts of OIT, the concentration is too low to cause harmful effects to the human body. 

OIT is a derivative of isothiazolinones, which are known for their high aquatic toxicity. 

“To enhance the filter’s anti-virus, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial functions we did use a very small amount of OIT in the manufacturing process, but the coated OIT is in a solid form, which makes it almost impossible for it to be released into the air,” said Cuckoo. “The OIT content falls far short of the government standard of 1 percent at only 0.11 percent, and we were informed by 3M (the filter manufacturer) that it has no harmful effects on the human body. 

Cuckoo also added that it plans to replace current filters for OIT-free ones for customers upon request. 

Another manufacturer of air purifiers, Dayou Winia, revealed that it would replace current filters with new OIT-free filters for future products. It will also offer free filter replacements to existing customers. 

“The filter of concern is manufactured by 3M, which also supplies the filter for our products,” said Dayou Winia. “There’s a minimal amount of antibacterial substances that actually become airborne, and the emissions are within the standards set by the Ministry of Environment.” 

Coway has conducted its own research at Seoul National University’s environmental institute to prove the safety of its filters to anxious customers. 

“Our experiment confirmed that no OIT is present,” said a Coway official. “But for more reliability, we’ll consult another external institute for independent confirmation.”

Public concerns over potential toxic filters grew after a media report that OIT was discovered in two of the five filters from major air purifier manufacturers.

By Kevin Lee (kevinlee@koreabizwire.com)

2 thoughts on “Air Purifiers in Spotlight amid Toxic Substance Controversy

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