Ministry approves sale of portable oxygen tank as quasi drug

By Lim Jeong-yeo
  • Published : May 17, 2019 - 16:04
  • Updated : May 17, 2019 - 16:04

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety on Friday approved the sale of a portable oxygen tank by a local company, recognizing the product as a quasi drug for the first time.

O2 Land’s new portable oxygen tank is the first case granted approval by the ministry since regulations on respiratory products were tightened in 2017.

The government has redefined products that directly come into contact with the human respiratory system as “quasi drugs” after it emerged that toxic humidifier disinfectants had killed or sickened hundreds of people in 2011.

Participants try inhaling from portable oxygen tanks at the “Dining in Find Dust” event in Gwanghwamun Square, Seoul, Tuesday. (Yonhap)

O2 Land is a six-person company in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province. It was founded by CEO Jo Jung-yeol, who had worked in the oxygen industry for around 15 years.

“We hope the product will be useful to people who are concerned about air pollution, and for drivers who feel fatigue inside a closed vehicle for a prolonged time,” Jo told The Korea Herald.

Clean Portable Oxygen will consist of 816 milliliters of gas containing 95 percent of oxygen. It will weigh about 5 grams and is enough for more than 80 counts of deep inhalation.

O2 Land expects to begin nationwide sales of the portable oxygen tank by late June. The tanks will be available as over-the-counter drugs at local pharmacies.

Industrial oxygen tanks authorized before regulations were tightened had been allowed to stay on shelves up to their expiry dates, though further manufacturing of those products had been prohibited.

By Lim Jeong-yeo (