Korean Electronics firm LG has launched a critical recall campaign for air purifier filters after some of these products were found to contain Octylisothiazolinone (OIT), a chemical substance toxic for humans. Octylisothiazolinone is a biocide that has been reported to cause dermatitis allergic reaction.
"A small amount of OIT was found in 3M's filters for fine particles, which were fitted in LG's air purifiers and air conditioners produced after 2012," the company told the Korea Herald.
Although it is not entirely proven that all of 3M's filters are harmful, LG is offering to replace these with new ones. It has not yet stated if the recall is global or only limited to certain regions. No model numbers have been disclosed, so consumers have no idea as of now if their product is harmful.
3M, formerly known as the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, is an American MNC that produces more than 55,000 products ranging from abrasives to electronic circuits. It released data that shows that the filters supplied by them for LG's electronics products contained OIT, but the amount is just 0.12 parts per billion, which is well within the level allowed by the Ministry of Environment in Korea.
The recall campaign comes almost five years after the Reckitt Benckiser humidifier disinfectant scandal when four pregnant women died of lung problems for unknown reasons in 2011. A subsequent government probe had found a "significant association" between lung damage and the usage of sterilise domestic humidifiers. A detailed investigation had found a total of 103 deaths — mostly women and children had taken place due to the usage of Oxy Ssak Ssak, a liquid humidifier disinfectant sold by Reckitt Benckiser in South Korea from 2001 onwards.