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Air purifiers work, CASE tests find

The Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) tested 10 different brands of air purifiers, and found that all of them performed efficiently in cleaning the air under hazy conditions.

SINGAPORE: A test of 10 air purifiers found that all of them performed efficiently in cleaning the air under hazy conditions, the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) said on Friday (June 27).

In the test conducted by CASE in April this year, 10 different brands of air purifiers were randomly purchased off the shelves from retailers such as Courts, NTUC FairPrice, Harvey Norman and Parisilk Electronics & Computers. Two tests were conducted on the air purifiers to determine their efficiency in cleaning Respirable Suspended Particles (RSP) and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) during times of haze.

For the RSP removal test, the Whirlpool AP628W performed the best with an elimination rate of 99.21 per cent, while the EuropAce EPU166C had the lowest elimination rate of 96.42 per cent. For the VOC removal test, the Whirlpool AP628W, EuropAce EPU166C and Philips AC4025/01 performed the best with a 100 per cent elimination rate, while the LG PS-S209WC had the lowest elimination rate of 99.55 per cent.

In a statement, CASE President Lim Biow Chuan advised consumers to compare prices and the performance of air purifiers between brands before deciding which to purchase. He also encouraged consumers to read instruction manuals on the correct way to use the air purifiers to ensure they function at their optimal level.

SURVEY ON N95 FACE MASKS

A survey was also conducted on N95 face masks to determine their availability in the market and to monitor the current retail prices. The survey was triggered by feedback received about drastic increases in prices of face masks during the haze period last year, when the price of a N95 face mask shot up to as high as S$8, CASE said.

The survey, conducted from June 13 to 15, randomly sampled 57 different authorised retailers island-wide to find out the availability and prices of the three leading brands of N95 masks – 3M, Kimberly-Clark and Paul-Boye.

The results showed that the masks were readily available from authorised retailers – Cold Storage, Guardian, NTUC FairPrice, Unity and Watsons. The most expensive mask was the 3M 9210 model, retailing at S$3.90 each at Guardian, and the cheapest was the 3M 9105 V-Flex model, retailing at S$11 for eight pieces (S$1.38 each) at Unity.

“Although there are a large variety of cheaper face masks offered for sale online or at unauthorised retailers, CASE would like to advise consumers to be cautious and refrain from purchasing from these unreliable sources, especially when the quality of the face masks is not assured,” Mr Lim said.

He cautioned parents to ensure that children reduce outdoor activities in unhealthy air conditions, as the N95 face masks sold in Singapore have not been certified for use for children.

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