However, Song's testing center found that the air purifiers' formaldehyde removal function is ineffective after testing 10 products including seven foreign brands.
"Their anti-formaldehyde function was exaggerated, and the severity of indoor pollution was somehow magnified," he said.
At a summit on infants' health held in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong Province on December 13, Zhong Nanshan, a well-known respiratory physician clarified that indoor air pollution has become a major killer.
He said that "lavish home improvement is found in 90 percent of leukemia child victims' houses; 2.1 million children die from lavish renovation annually; 70 percent of miscarriages are linked to environmental pollution," the Guangzhou Daily reported.
However, Zhong made a public apology nine days later, saying it was improper to quote the unverified figure of 2.1 million child deaths.
According to the Database of Death Surveillance in China 2014 released by Chinese CDC and National Health and Family Planning Commission, the total number of deaths of children from all causes between 0 and 14 in 2014 was only 130,000.
The 2.1 million figure was first reported by China News Service in 2003 which quoted a child health expert. Since then, it has been widely quoted in reports and articles. No related authorities or individuals have ever made any public corrections.
Song, vice director of the China National Interior Decoration Association, said these misinterpretations and overstatements circulating on the Internet have misguided people and intensified public panic.
"Some enterprises make use of false information or hype the risks to promote their anti-formaldehyde products," he stated.
The market is filled with products to check or wipe out formaldehyde. Some professional companies also offer door-to-door services to help with the problem.
"Years ago, the issue of indoor carcinogenic benzene pollution was very serious. But after decade-long efforts to supplant this kind of paint with water-based paint, the pollution is almost controlled," Song said, explaining that the government increased taxes on solvent paints which carry benzene.
To help consumers spot zero-formaldehyde decorating products, the authorities have set up a special QR code for them. Despite the technological barriers, Song said industry regulators have pledged to control formaldehyde in home decoration products within 10 to 15 years.