Wave A Wand, Covid Be Gone? Not So Fast
- Buyer beware.
- They aren't regulated.
- They will create a false sense of security.
- They can damage your skin and eyes.
- UV light is in use in hospitals and subway systems but these personal devices are best avoided and left alone.
We've been washing and singing songs for twenty seconds for what seems like an eternity. Then we had a hand sanitizer shortage. We got that back after a while but admittedly, some of them stink to high heaven. We won't see Clorox wipes for a while (at least until 2021). We're spraying everything down and wiping what we can with disinfectant and bleach. What else can we do to make sure we don't have Covid-19 on our surfaces? And we're talking everywhere from our phones to our countertops. We're practically afraid to touch any and everything.
Enter the UV Wand.
The come in all shapes and sizes and prices. Just a quick search on Amazon and you'll see the latest in "the battle against Covid-19".
And they claim to kill 99.9% of harmful germs and substances on surfaces. And quickly. Just a few simple waves of the wand over whatever you're trying to disinfect and rid of germs (especially Covid-19) and viola, you're safe and done.
They range in price from about $40 bucks and up.
People are gobbling them up by the Amazon cartful. But do they work? Are they safe?
Many UV products marketed as "killing 99.9% of germs" may be so weak that you would need to hold them for an hour at different angles just to disinfect a mask. Masks can be more easily disinfected other ways, such as in a washing machine (for cloth masks). (Consumer Lab)
So a lot of false claims from products especially shipped from overseas. And then there is also a real health danger.
UV will damage your skin and eyes, and you won’t even know it’s happening until it’s too late. And UVC, which is typically used in commercial devices, is the most damaging of the bunch. So, no, you absolutely should not try to use UV on your body. (The World Health Organization agrees.) (LA Times)
"There are installers and commercial-grade products out there that do have a safety certification and which can be installed and used very safely." "But in terms of research, there's a lot still pending on that. So I would caution consumers ... if they're seeing really robust claims about efficacy, to keep in mind that that is still very much in the works." (CNET)