Air Doctor: Danger or Protection?
Recently, people began to buy the so-called virus blockers – Air Doctor. These are badges inside which there is an active component – chlorine dioxide. According to the merchandisers, the substance creates a “dome of purity” around a person, which kills viruses and bacteria.
And one could even forget this story as another scientific and marketing prank, if not for the price—one Air Doctor costs from $14 to $140.
Here are the real stories that happen next to us. A grandmother comes to the pharmacy, and the pharmacist says to her: “buy an antimicrobial agent, it creates an atmospheric shield protecting against germs, viruses, bacteria, pollen, and odors, a Japanese development from coronavirus.” And grandmother spends her last money on a dubious device, hoping to protect herself.
What Is Air Doctor
Chlorine dioxide is an industrial bleach and disinfectant. It is a strong oxidizing agent, and it is toxic.
Use and direct contact may cause irritation of the mucous membranes and cough, as well as dizziness, nausea, and diarrhea.
Yes, in gaseous form, it can kill pathogens. There are studies that report that chlorine dioxide actually reduces the activity of the influenza A virus, but for this, it needs to be sprayed. The effectiveness of the drug is directly related to the concentration of the active substance.
Air Doctor Portable is not an aerosol; it does not release poison into the air. Even if we assume (purely hypothetically) that a miracle blocker creates the necessary concentration around a person’s head, the question arises: what then will happen to the head itself?
Or, as Igor Narkevich, doctor of pharmaceutical sciences, said on this subject: “what about person’s lungs?“
Calculating the concentration of chlorine dioxide that is harmless to the lungs, which at the same time will be effective against viruses, is not an easy task.
In addition, how can chlorine dioxide (which is heavier than air) be able to stay at head level in the natural environment? Given that a person with a blocker on his neck also goes somewhere, constantly in motion.
And here is another study – it shows the relative effectiveness of chlorine dioxide in the treatment of coronavirus infection. But it doesn’t say anything that with the help of a substance, one can somehow “shield” oneself from the virus.
Those who are infected are encouraged to rinse their mouth and nose with water and chlorine dioxide. However, researchers see this as a supportive therapy, but not as a treatment. If the substance can inactivate the virus in the upper respiratory tract, it will not affect the virus in other parts of the body.
By the way, city pipes are often treated with chlorine dioxide – with the same success. You can rinse your mouth with ordinary running water.
Toxic substances in medicine
Stories about how toxic substances are promoted as medicines have long been known. For example, a few years ago, in the American social networks, there was a boom in sodium chlorite (when in contact with oxygen, it gives the same chlorine dioxide). People drank it to prevent colds and even cancer.
When the number of poisonings began to increase, the US FDA issued an official toxicity warning.
Let’s see Air Doctor advertising. A kind of “Japanese development” – on which, by the way, it is not so easy to find at least one intelligible study.
Be Aware of Air Doctor Analogs
Remembering that on May, 26, Russia is the third country with 362 thousand confirmed cases according to the WHO, let’s see what suppliers of Russian Air Doctor analog write on the site:
“The blocker of bacteria and viruses was developed by scientists at the SCAMT International Scientific Center, based on the research center NRU ITMO (St. Petersburg) and is not inferior in effectiveness to such Japanese products as air doctor, Nanoclo2.“
The mention of important scientific institutions always sounds convincing. But if you turn to the website of NRU ITMO, it becomes clear that the development of a virus blocker is a student project. Experiments have shown that in laboratory conditions, chlorine dioxide is effective against influenza A virus and adenovirus.
But the ideal laboratory conditions for a student project are one thing, and the non-ideal environment of real life is another. Similarly, flu with adenovirus and coronavirus are two different things.
Before the start of the epidemic, the ITMO-based enterprise was founded. In February 2020, the production of domestic analogs of Japanese blockers began there. According to Professor Alexander Vinogradov, Inno-Colloid’s general director, the emergence of blockers on the market and the outbreak of COVID-19 are in no way related – this is a coincidence. Now production is suspended for “ethical” reasons.
It is a coincidence or not, but on the ITMO website claims that the blocker helps “against 99% of viruses.” And further, as if hinting at the current coronavirus epidemic.
The ITMO website also writes that the blocker has passed clinical trials, and even refer to the Paster Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology.
But here’s a funny fact: the Pasteur Institute did not confirm anything, quite the contrary. The institute’s management issued an official statement explaining that only 1 experiment was conducted, and it’s impossible to say anything concrete about the effectiveness of the blocker:
“Such antiviral activity [of a virus blocker] is not significant from the point of view of the prospects of using this product as a reliable means of personal protection. The data obtained also does not allow us to conclude that the product is effective against 99% of viruses and bacteria, as the developer indicates.”
The institute also directly asks marketers not to use the institute’s name for advertising:
“In connection with the above, we consider it unacceptable to mention the Institute as part of the commercial use and advertising of the Blocker tool, developed by ITMO University and produced by the Inno-Colloid small innovative enterprise.“
In addition, on the website of the Research Pasteur’s Institute has a warning about the dangers of chlorine dioxide in personal protective equipment. The reaction molecules of the substance do not have such selectivity to correctly distinguish viruses from cells of the human body. This means: the higher the concentration of chlorine dioxide (i.e., its effectiveness against viruses), the more side effects and risks to human health.
The Bottom Line
Speaking science-intensive: there is no confirmed evidence that the virus blocker is effective in coronavirus.
But simpler – it does not work at all!
Air Doctor is not a medical device or medicine. Rather, an amulet under a great advertising campaign.
We hope this article saves someone else’s wallet. Share information with loved ones!
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