Evaluating the safety and effectiveness of UVC disinfection devices
7:29

Evaluating the safety and effectiveness of UVC disinfection devices

Wellness
The market for UVC disinfection devices is sort of like the wild wild west right now. The gush of virus killing ultraviolet light machines that have flooded the market in the wake of the covid 19 outbreak are not all created equally, and some might be downright dangerous. That's why we made this video to help you make informed choices about what sort of UVC disinfection tech makes the most sense for you, if any. UVC light is higher energy than the UVA and UVB light from the sun that causes sunburn. And while the sun does produce UVC light as well, the sun's UVC doesn't penetrate the Earth's atmosphere. UVC is also a proven disinfectant being used to kill germs in hospitals, airplanes, and they're even attaching it to drones. Since the covid 19 outbreak there's been a surge in demand for UVC disinfection devices for in home use A lot of companies are rushing products into the marketplace trying to capitalise on that demand. There's so many devices out there right now we don't really know how well they perform. And we don't really even know if they're emitting light at the wavelengths that are gonna be effective for disinfection, or the intensity that will be effective for disinfection. That's Carl Linden. He's a professor from the University of Colorado Boulder, who has been researching the disinfecting properties of UVC light For many years. The good thing, if you wanna call it good is that COVID itself has to be very, very susceptible to UV light. It takes very low doses of UV light to magnet so many devices out there I'm certified for almost any organism will also be effective for disinfection from other viruses. As effective as it might be. UBC is also a known carcinogen. It means he accidentally exposing your skin or eyes to it could cause serious damage including cancer. You never want to look at a UV lamp. You never want to expose your skin, you can avoid those two things. You're going to be safe and don't point to anybody else as well. The FDA webpage on UVC disinfection devices echoes these warnings added some UVC lamps contain mercury which is toxic even in small amounts. The FDA also mentioned the risk of some UVC devices creating ozone gas, which can damage your lungs if inhaled. The risk of ozone is found mostly with older mercury based UVC devices, and UVC wavelengths below 225 nanometers. UVC in this range is known as far UVC light, which we'll talk more about later. Now if you're thinking about getting a UVC device, understand that any UVC device comes with some risk of misuse, and it's important to weigh potential risks against your need to disinfect. If you have kids and pets who might curiously stick their faces into a glowing UVC bulb, that's an important thing to consider when calculating the risk of purchase. Some UV-C products out there are safer than others. You just have to know what you're looking for, and know that the safer products might be buried by cheaper, less proven, and more dangerous options. If you're gonna buy UV device you wanted [INAUDIBLE] Out there sometime and it has some track record. We also want to know what wavelength of light is being emitted and want to definitely get up in the DVC wavelength ranges between 280 nanometers to be around 234 and 80 to 280 nanometers and these are very effective. I think for disinfection. So make sure you know what the wavelengths are, make sure that they've been tested. It has some kinda qualification on the label native says confirm for 3-logs inactivation, which is 99.9% inactivation. They'll say as a pathogen or bacteria. UL a global safety certification company recently released a guide that outlines which kinds of UVC products the company is willing to certify. UL said that they would not certify handheld UVC ones or UVC lamps designed to disinfect an entire room in a home. Because the risk for misuse is too high and devices with uncontained UVC. UV ones, they should never be able to be used in the up direction. So when you flip it up so you might expose yourself but that doesn't mean you can't expose yourself if you get under it. So you have to be careful with those types of devices. I think there's a great risk for user error and causing some damage if you get a long term exposure from the media source. To get some more information we reached out to a handful of companies that produce UVC wants to get their comments to companies responded confirming their products were safe to use on surfaces, but not safe for skin or eyes. A company called UV sanitizer USA told us that their ones are FDA registered SGS lab tested and EPA approved But before we go on, I have to point out that you'll see a lot of EPA approved or EPA certified phrasing on UVC disinfection devices. But when CNET reached out to the EPA for comment, a spokesperson got back to us telling us that the EPA does not register, certify or approve any pesticide devices including UVC disinfection tech The EPA spokesperson one on to tell us that companies selling their pesticide devices claiming EPA approval or certification are making false and misleading claims, so be careful out there. Another company called Smart UV told us that they use LEDs in their healios UVC light one, which creates a more directional cone shaped spread of light Than a typical UVC light bulb. The company claims these LEDs make it safe to hold and to protect users against possible eye damage. The company sells UV protective glasses on their website. Smart UV also told us their healios UVC one is aro HS certified CE certified and some parts are UL certified but not the bolts. You always website confirms that the only consumer UVC devices they are willing to certify our devices with contained UVC elements like air purifiers and sterilization boxes. The items that are enclosed and have UV light associated with them I think can be very effective because those are usually on for a longer amount of time. They'll be giving the correct dose of light to kill off any kinds of viruses or bacteria that might be on the surfaces. I've seen things that can disinfect your toothbrushes and disinfect your gym bag, disinfect your water bottle. All those I think are very effective and they're great because The user doesn't get exposed to the UV light directly, and they can be self contained. If you're content to wait until the UVC landscape isn't so overwhelming and unregulated. There is still a glimmer of hope that someday we might develop UVC devices that can kill germs without hurting us. One of the things that people are looking at now researchers are investigating now is the ability of UVC and the bar up range around 222 to be used within areas that humans are exposed to. So typically for you can penetrate the skin to get to the bazel layer and cause damage DNA damage to the underlay of your scans is actively reducing 222 Can get absorbed in the very top micron layer of your dead skin your epidermis and doesn't penetrate deep into yours into your skin layers. So the theory is that's a lot safer few because that can't get into the skin deeply and cause damage that might lead to something like skin cancer or expand from into the skin as promising as it is. The research on far UBC is still ongoing. For now if you decide you want to buy yourself a UVC disinfection device, just make sure you do your research on the product and use it only as directed. I hope you found this video helpful. As always, thanks so much for watching. I'm your host Jesse aural. Stay safe out there, everybody.

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