DO UVC sanitizing wand really work?

The UVC sanitizing wand “kill up to 99 percent of germs on surfaces using natural UV-C light

The UV-C light is a proven technology for killing germs that work well on any hard surfaces.UV light is much more convenient than soap and water

 The disinfecting powers of UV-C light. The ultraviolet light with a wavelength between 200 and 280 nanometers —On the UV light spectrum, there are UV-A, B, and C lights. Only the UV-C light can kill germs, says Philip Tierno, PhD, a clinical professor in the department of pathology at New York University Langone Medical Center.

“This light has a range of effectiveness, which interferes and destroys the nucleic acids of bacteria and other microbes,” Tierno explained, adding that the range of light can also disrupt proteins in the microbes by killing certain amino acids. They work best on smooth surfaces, Tierno advised.

“UV-C penetrates superficially, and the light can’t get into nooks and crannies,” he explained. But when your device comes out, it’s only as safe as its last encounter.” In other words, using the UV light sanitizer doesn’t license you to get dirty and ignore possible new germs on the phone.UV light is highly effective at killing germs.

The three main types of UV rays are UVA, UVB, and UVC. Because UVC rays have the shortest wavelength, and therefore highest energy, they are capable of killing bacteria and viruses, also called pathogens. UVC light has a wavelength of between 200 and 400 nanometers (nm). It is highly effective at decontamination because it destroys the molecular bonds that hold together the DNA of viruses and bacteria, including “superbugs,” which have developed a stronger resistance to antibiotics.

Powerful UVC light has been regularly used to decontaminate surgical tools and hospital rooms. A study that included 21,000 patients who stayed overnight in a room where someone had been previously treated found that sanitizing a hospital room with UV light in addition to traditional methods of cleaning cut transmission of drug-resistant bacteria by 30%. This is partly because UVC light can effectively sanitize hard-to-clean nooks and crannies. UVC light also works by destroying the DNA of pathogens, which makes it effective against “superbugs.”

But this broad-spectrum light is also a health hazard — linked to diseases such as skin cancer and cataracts — and humans cannot be in the room when it is used. Recently, however, researchers have been working with narrow-spectrum UVC rays (207-222 nm). This type of UVC light kills bacteria and viruses without penetrating the outermost cell layer of human skin.

UVC sanitizing wand would make more sense in public places that it could reduce the transmission of diseases on a large scale if used in airplanes, restaurants, subways stations, and other places where people congregate. Until that is happening, and as an alternative to chemical cleaners, many UV sanitizing wands have been shown to work about as well as a wipe at killing bacteria and viruses on smooth nonporous surfaces like airplane tray tables. After looking into the research around UV wands for the Strategist, Berezow says, “I would say that UV-light wands may be useful as an alternative to chemical cleaners on tabletops or other ‘plain’ surfaces.” Purvi Parikh, an immunologist and allergist with Allergy & Asthma Network, says that portable devices such as this “are helpful on surfaces and objects such as your phone but should not be used on your skin.” Like many other UV-light wands on the market, our  UV sanitizing wands will shut off if you turn it over (to protect your eyes). But still, you should use it with caution.

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