One can claim that the worst will be over only when a reliable vaccine is available. Until then there is not much one can do beyond maintaining physical distance from others, wearing a face mask, and washing hands frequently. The World Health Organization (WHO) and medical experts have been urging people to adopt the health guidelines religiously in a bid to ward off the virus. In the current scenario, strict hygiene practice is very important, considering the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases. However, even after following strict hygiene practices and sanitising surfaces in your home, the efforts can go in vain by just touching your phone, doorknobs, and other daily essential items. Therefore using ultraviolet (UV) light sanitising devices is helping considerably in disinfecting all your items with ease and efficiency.
How UV light is helping
UV light has been recognised for its effectiveness in sterilisation and disinfection. It has the capability to kill germs or inactive the virus. A study conducted by researchers at the Columbia University Irving Medical Centre shows that far-ultraviolet C (UVC), when exposed to a particular wavelength that is safe to use around humans, can kill 99.9 per cent of coronaviruses that are present in airborne droplets. According to the researchers, continuous exposure to far-UVC light can kill ninety per cent airborne viruses in about eight minutes, 95 per cent in eleven minutes, 99 per cent in about sixteen minutes, and 99.9 per cent in 25 minutes.
UV light can be used with special bulbs that emit the right amount of UVC light, which is required to kill the virus. Traditionally, UVC lights have been utilised to disinfect drinking water, air, and pharmaceutical tools. UVC light is safe to use for disinfecting vegetables, fruits, utensils, mobiles, toys, surfaces, etc. These are effective in reducing the level of airborne virus in indoor environments.
Pros of UV sterilisation
UV sterilisation devices can disinfect more efficiently than traditional cleaning methods. The most important benefit of UV sterilisation is that no chemicals are required, and no chemical residue is left behind, and hence it’s safe to use. Besides, UV light is environment friendly. One should note that UV light disinfection is a physical process and not a chemical method.
Excessive or direct exposure to UV light is harmful to human beings as it can badly affect their skin and eyes. This is why UV sterilisation is used with UVC lamps having a protective shield. But the key thing to understand is that UV light is safe, if used correctly, and does not cause harm, unlike the harsh chemicals in cleaning products.
UV disinfection is a dry method that effectively prevents the growth of fungi in the future. In other disinfection methods, a damp environment may be created where fungi can thrive with dire consequences.
Cons of UV sterilisation
UV sterilisation can kill a wide array of microorganisms, including drug-resistant bacterias. But it also has drawbacks. UV only works in its light path and can become ineffective when blocked by objects.
Therefore one must ensure that the object to be sterilised is placed directly under the light. If the object is a bit off or not in line with the UV light, it will not be sanitised. One method to minimise the problem is to incorporate several UV bulbs to generate UV radiation from different angles.
UV light devices are not recommended for sterilising hands and using on skin. These can have harmful effects on our eyes and skin. These devices may even lead to chronic eye damage, which is not curable.
Here are some of the best UV sanitisers that are helpful during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The product is India’s first UVC LED-based handheld steriliser. The company claims that the device can kill up to 99.9 per cent of germs within six seconds. It is equipped with an inbuilt sensor and a safety switch to avoid direct skin contact. Since it is a portable product, it can be easily carried to the market or workplace. The device can be charged like a phone and has a battery life of three hours on a single charge. Besides, it can be customised for use on escalators, large surfaces, travel baggage, and trolleys. The company plans to come up with a more affordable mobile version.
IFITech Handheld UVC light wand steriliser
The portable steriliser comes handy for products that can’t be cleaned with soap or sanitisers such as mobiles, face masks, electronic gadgets, currency, packages delivered to homes, car dashboards, clothing, among others. This wand steriliser is just 30.4cm in length and fits easily in bags or purses. Hence, it is easy to carry to job or grocery stores.
The House of Sensation 3-in-1 Portable UV steriliser
It is a multifunctional double UV steriliser with auto aromatherapy function. It comes with sixty-degree UV sterilisation, no dead zone, and kills bacteria in three minutes. It features a progress bar display that helps you know the sterilisation process clearly. It can be used to sterilise items of daily needs and personal healthcare products like masks, goggles, watches, etc. It uses eco-friendly material, nano-coating, and is resistant to high temperatures.
Life of Riley UV phone box
The gadget disinfects smartphones, watches, jewellery, glasses, keys, pacifiers, tableware, and other small items. It claims to destroy up to 99.9 per cent of bacteria in 3 minutes. The box comes in a compact size and is lightweight. It is available with a USB charging cable. It is easy to carry and can be used at home, office, car or even while travelling. The ultraviolet rays of the product are produced by UVC-LED, which is safe and environmentally friendly. Besides, it has a wired mobile charging option.
ULVIO UV Disinfection Lamp
It has 99 to 99.9 per cent sterilisation rate to kill bacteria, viruses, fungus, and spores. It is smoke-free as well as pollution-free, unlike traditional methods like fogging and chemical spray. The lamp is based on dual sterilisation, such as ozone and UVC. It features a motion sensor that automatically turns off on detecting motion around. The portable device can be placed anywhere and is ideal to use in home, office, clinic, hospital, etc.