Do UV Light Sanitizers Really Work?
We've seen a certain subset of Amazon purchases I can only classify as "pandemic-tech."
From a pop-up tent that attaches to your hatch, to a smartband that helps you to stop touching your face -- there's no shortage of gadgets for someone with coronavirus on the mind.
But sanitizing and disinfecting a wide variety of surfaces, effectively and quickly, is still a pandemic problem.
Enter UV sanitizing lights.
The technology has been around for some time, and there's been lots of UV sanitizing products on the market long before coronavirus ever hit the news, with some good research behind the effectiveness of UV-C lights against bacteria and viruses.
“UV light is lethal to bacteria and viruses because of its high frequency that scrambles and damages their nuclear material," says microbiologist Alex Berezow in New York Magazine. "When it damages the DNA (or RNA) code of these pathogens, it also triggers lethal mutations that prevent them from reproducing properly.”
Since COVID-19 is so new, there haven't been laboratory tests yet on its vulnerability to UV-C light.
Berezow says, “UV light kills everything: bacteria, fungi, viruses. It should kill coronavirus.”
And while hand-washing and laundering clothing, along with using bleach-based disinfectants are proven to destroy coronaviruses, there are some surfaces that are tricky to clean with a wet wipe or washing machine -- and UV light can reach into tiny crevices and areas where a wipe-down might miss.
So we picked up two different types of UV sanitizers, and you can find a LOT online. The two here seemed to have solid reviews (like any trendy product there's a lot of garbage fakes to be on the lookout for), and a good return policy.
The Portable UV Sanitizer Wand by 59S promises 99.9 percent sterilization of bacteria and viruses in under two minutes. It has 20 UV-C LEDs operating at 260-280nm, and comes with UV goggles for eye protection during use, as well as a childproof lock.
UV-C light can seem dim to the human eye, but looking at it for only a short time could cause eye damage. I foresee getting a lot of use form this portable, rechargeable unit when staying in hotels is a thing we all do again, or for sterilizing large items like pillows and backpacks.
The UV Light Sanitizer Bag from 59S uses similar UV-C technology, but the LEDs are encased in a bag big enough for your phone, keys, masks, wallet, and even make-up brushes. It has a metal shelf inside the bag to ensure light hits the items in the bag from all sides, including underneath. The bag has a safety feature where it must be fully zipped before the UV LEDs will turn on. A sanitizing cycle takes three minutes.
For anyone looking for the highest tech way to sanitize hard-to-clean items, UV-C light may just provide a solution.