Who knew that preventive measures like sanitizing surfaces and wearing face masks would become a part of our everyday lives?
But killing germs on household surfaces is nothing new – you’ve already done it every day when cleaning the bathrooms and kitchen. However, it has become even more critical to clean and sanitize all frequently-touched surfaces since the coronavirus pandemic started ravaging the world.
This includes phones, remote controls, faucet handles, computers, laptops, and more.
But for some people, that’s not enough.
They want to make sure they’re fully equipped against this pandemic. In that case, a UV sanitizing device is quite possibly the best way to disinfect all surfaces that you come in touch with.
Let’s see how these devices work.
Understanding Ultraviolet Light
Ultraviolet light is a type of electromagnetic radiation that falls under the 100-400 nm wavelength range. There are three types of ultraviolet rays: UVA, UVB, and UVC.
The sun only transmits UVA and UVB rays responsible for stimulating vitamin D growth, sunburns, and scarily enough, skin cancer. The ozone layer in the atmosphere prevents any UVC rays from reaching the earth’s surface.
Any UVC rays you’ve encountered in your life are artificial. These have the shortest wavelength out of all the three (100-280nm) and are a known disinfectant for air, water, and nonporous surfaces. Why is this?
It’s because UVC light can damage the genetic material in bacteria and viruses, preventing them from replicating. And that is why the best UV light sanitizers emit only UVC radiation to kill the toughest germs, like the coronavirus.
Can UVC Light Be Used For Thorough Disinfection Anywhere?
Scientists have made use of UVC light for killing bacteria and even pathogens such as MRSA. And that explains why UVC light sanitizers are routinely used in hospitals to sterilize equipment, disinfect surgical rooms and prevent the spread of superbugs.
Some medical facilities even use UVC emitting robots to sterilize rooms, while many clinics have customized cabinets that emit UVC radiation and disinfect items such as stethoscopes, iPads, and other equipment kept inside. In fact, schools, offices, and restaurants have also started using UV disinfection technology to keep clients and staff safe during this pandemic.
However, it is essential to understand that the effectiveness of UVC light on disinfection depends on a few things.
For starters, the light’s wavelength plays a vital role in combating specific viruses and pathogens. Generally, the best UV light sanitizers work at a wavelength of 260 nm. The dosage and duration also matter, depending on the objects being disinfected.
For portable UV light to work efficiently, it’s important to ensure that there is no obstruction in its way. There should be no dirt, stains, or shadows covering the surface. Even the best UV light sanitizers won’t work if there is any barrier in their path.
A quick disclaimer though, UVC light should never be used on the human body (or any other living cell) directly.
Ultraviolet light has also been used effectively against SARS-CoV-1, whose structure closely resembled the current SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, as well as other pathogens such as MERS, MRSA, and Ebola. According to a study, UV light disinfection can reduce the transmission of the four most common superbugs by 30%.
So there is no doubt that UVC light can prove effective against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Hospitals and medical facilities use expensive UVC radiation devices to sterilize their premises and equipment, which may cost upward of $100K. But luckily, for everyone else, there’s the option of portable tools such as UV sanitizing wands. These can effectively disinfect most surfaces in the house and kill up to 99.9% of germs.
However, it is essential to remember that even the best UV light sanitizers are no substitutes for preventive measures, such as hand washing and wearing a mask.
Considerations When Buying UVC Sanitizers For Personal Use
The use of UV light devices inside the home would be a difficult sell because we’ve all been told countless times to wear sunscreen to protect from UV light.
The good news here is that many modern UVC LED lamps emit far-UVC rays that cannot penetrate the skin. Far-UVC devices are very safe for use as long as they are kept away from the eyes and skin.
But the question here is can you find UVC devices that aren’t poorly designed and deliver on their promises of killing germs and pathogens?
There are a lot of UVC devices replicas that may look bright but don’t disinfect anything.
You’ll need to be 100% sure of the wavelength, duration, and dosage of UVC offered by the light sanitizer you choose. This is the only way to know if your new light wand is any good at inactivating dangerous pathogens. Also, make sure that they are from a regulated manufacturer and have good reviews online.
If you want the best UV light sanitizer, also keep these factors in mind:
- Steer clear from mercury lamps - Mercury is a toxic material, and mercury UV lamps must be handled with caution. Though hospitals may use mercury lamps, it’s a good idea to avoid them in your home.
- Avoid looking into the light directly - UV light can harm your eyes and skin. You must be cautious when using a device to not stare directly into the light. Otherwise, you put yourself at risk of painful eye injuries.
- Avoid prolonged exposure to the skin - Since the long term effects of UVC light are still unknown, it’s wise to avoid prolonged exposure to the skin.
- Know the surfaces need cleaning - UVC light works best on nonporous objects and flat objects. So a UV sanitizer is much more useful for cleaning your phone and iPad than a curtain or rug.
- Consider the wavelength - The wavelength of a UV light determines if it will inactivate a virus. At the same time, different wavelengths can pose health risks. The best UV light sanitizers work at a range of 240-280nm, with the optimal number being 260nm.
- Consider lamps that close - The best UV light sanitizers are enclosed devices that come with safety features such as timers and automatic shutoff. Humans and animals should not be exposed to UV light for an extended period.
- Choose devices with precise specifications - Consider buying UV devices with exact specifications about wavelength, dose, and duration.
Even if you have the best UV light sanitizer at your disposal, you must know how to use it correctly, or it’s not going to be of much use. What’s important to remember is that UV disinfection works on nonporous objects which do not have crevices or bends.
Also, while a handheld UV wand might be suitable for cleaning germs off your phone, you’ll need something more potent for disinfecting the walls and floor of your home. The recommended dosage of UV radiation is around 20,000 joules per second. Most independently selected portable devices can’t deliver that dosage.
Not every portable UV disinfection device can deliver results. Most are low-quality models that would offer you no protection against the coronavirus. And what’s worse, they pose significant safety risks if they emit UVA and UVB rays!
Finding a UV light disinfectant that can deliver the right dose of UVC can be difficult in this pandemic. If you want the best UV light sanitizer that offers you 99.9% protection from germs, bacteria, and viruses, visit Puritize!