The National Poison Centre has debunked a claim that a product worn around the neck like a name tag could protect against Covid-19 infection.
Citing a study in the Japanese Journal of Environmental Infections, it said such products emitted low or even undetectable levels of chlorine dioxide gas and had no effect on destroying bacteria or viruses.
“The finding shows that wearing such ‘health tags’ is not effective in preventing existing bacterial or viral infections, let alone Covid-19.
“Chlorine dioxide gas has an irritant effect especially towards the respiratory system, depending on the amount and concentration of the gas exposure.
“What is more concerning is that consumers’ faith in this product could make them feel safe and protected from infection.
“As a result, the wearer would become less vigilant in practising proven prevention methods such as frequent handwashing and social distancing,” the National Poisons Centre added in a statement on Facebook today.
The “health tag”, which among others is marketed as “Antah Wellness Defend Healthtag” or “Virus Shut Out”, are sold even local pharmacy such as Watsons, and online marketplace such as Lazada and Shoppee.
The marketing literature claims that it consisted of a sachet containing sodium chlorite. It is intended to be worn around the neck and supposedly releases chlorine dioxide gas that would eliminate 99.9 percent of viruses and bacteria in one cubic metre around the user. The product is supposedly effective for 45 days once it is opened.
Several social media posts have also alleged that the country’s top leaders are among its users, and have been pictured in public wearing them.
Dr Noor Hisham has consistently reminded the public over the need to trust scientifically-proven methods, rather than purported cures such as the “singgang” dish and drinking warm water.