With growing concerns over airborne pathogens, allergens and pollutants, wearable air purifiers (also known as air purifier necklaces) and related products are currently receiving a lot of attention. There is a whole host of products available in this growing market, with decisions to be made between air ionizers and purifiers, and between different types of filtration technology, with a range of factors for consumers to consider when comparing the available products. With so many options to choose from, we’ve decided to investigate the various air purifier design features and technologies on offer, as well as looking at the benefits and potential drawbacks of personal air purifiers.
Common technologies found in air purification devices
This technology releases negative ions, which cause positively charged airborne particles to collect and fall, decreasing their likelihood of being inhaled. However, the efficiency of ionization is open to debate and its effectiveness isn’t universally accepted. Additionally, some ionic air purifiers produce ozone, which carries its own health risks.
Purifiers that use electrostatically charged filters attract and capture airborne particles. While they can effectively draw particles from the air, these devices might be less efficient than other technologies when it comes to dealing with ultra-fine pollutants.
A small number of wearable devices make use of HEPA filters, which are much more commonly found in larger home air purifiers. These filters can trap even the smallest pollutants, making them one of the most effective filtration methods available.
Some wearable devices produce ozone intentionally to neutralize specific contaminants, but it’s also essential to understand the potential health concerns, especially in cases where exposure to ozone occurs over an extended period.
Ultraviolet light, specifically UV-C, is known to deactivate airborne pathogens. While some solutions (like Respiray’s UV-C LED) are safe, others generate ozone, meaning that caution is advised.
What air purifier design features are available?
Necklace-style personal air purifiers
Many wearable air purifiers have a lightweight pendant-type design that hangs around the neck, ensuring users hardly notice them while working or carrying out their daily activities around the home.
Face mask integration
With the increased use of face masks in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the integration of wearable purifiers into face masks has gained popularity, delivering immediate filtration in close proximity to the airways.
Some more compact devices can be clipped onto clothing or bags, making them extremely portable.
Unique features of Respiray Wear A+
The design of Respiray Wear A+ offers the perfect sweet spot between masks that obstruct the user’s face and necklaces that some feel are too far away from it. With its ergonomic collar design that secures the device near the nose and mouth, Wear A+ boasts superior efficiency over other wearable ionizers and air purifiers that leave the face uncovered. Because it cleans the air around the user’s airways from the moment it’s switched on, it also offers advantages over larger stationary purifiers, which must be operational 24/7 to keep the air free of unwanted particles.
Wearable air purifier benefits
Personal clean air zone
Wearable purifiers create a localized clean air zone around the user’s face, making them priceless when in a crowded or polluted area.
Compact and lightweight by design, wearable air purification devices are ideal for those with an on-the-go lifestyle.
Portable air purification solutions can shield users from a range of airborne irritants and toxins, from allergens and pollutants to smoke and some microbes.
Unlike disposable face masks, many wearable air purifiers can be used safely for several years, making them stand out as an environmentally friendly choice.
Concerns over wearable air purification technology
Not all wearable purifiers are created equal. While some are highly adept when it comes to cleansing the surrounding airspace, others fall short, especially when compared to larger, stationary units. Also, wearable devices are not always effective in outdoor or windy environments.
It’s vitally important to be aware that devices producing ozone, whether as a primary function of their operation or as a by-product, can pose health risks with prolonged exposure.
Wearable air purifiers are designed for personal use and they won’t affect the air quality in larger spaces or rooms.
During operation, some models produce sounds that users may find disturbing, especially in quiet settings.
As with all technology, there is a range available, from budget-friendly options to premium models with advanced features. For some, devices with the required quality level or features may not be available at an affordable price.
Depending on a product’s technology and design features, regular cleaning, filter replacement and other maintenance tasks might be required.
Where do we go from here?
Wearable air purifiers represent an exciting innovation at the intersection of technology and personal health. As the devices available on the market continue to improve, users must stay informed about the various technologies in place and their associated pros and cons.
When considering a purchase, it’s important that individuals do their own research to understand what’s out there and find the best fit for their own needs. However the technology evolves from here though, one thing is clear – wearable air purification is here to stay.