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Getting Answers: efficacy and safety of UV-C disinfecting products

News & Updates

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — As the world continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, new products are being developed to disinfect surfaces in hopes of killing the coronavirus.

UV-C products have quickly attracted buyers as an alternative to using chemicals, but are they effective?

“If you want something that’s going to work, it’s pretty intense UV energy,” said Mark Beeston with Vioguard.

The FDA is giving UV-C wavelengths the green light when it comes to killing viruses.

However, they warn that using lamps with ultraviolet light may not be safe or completely effective.

“If you buy UV-c technology, that doesn’t put out enough energy. You’re going to be trying to disinfect your phone, tablet, keyboard. You’re going to think you’re killing viruses and bacteria when you’re really not,” Beeston explained.

Beeston is the vice president of sales from Vioguard, a hospital-grade company that has the only FDA-approved products. He sat down with Western Mass News to give our viewers answers on the key things to look out for.

“You want to make sure you’re looking at a UV-C product that’s hitting that 254 nanometer range,” Beeston said.

He also stressed buying the correct wavelength, which is the UV-C short wavelength.

However, beware, it can be dangerous.

“UV-C in the form you need to kill COVID is going to be really harmful to eyes and skin if it’s exposed, so you want to make sure it’s enclosed,” Beeston noted.

The World Health Organization is warning against using it to disinfect skin, like your hands, which is why Beeston said buying enclosed products is the safest move and they’re easy to use.

“If it’s enclosed, it’s very simple to use. You put your object on the shelf, close the door, and it runs,” Beeston added.

Products that aren’t enclosed are not only hazardous, but they may not even effectively kill COVID-19

“If it’s sitting on a grocery cart and you can look at the bulb, it’s most likley not killing the viruses quickly or at all,” Beeston said.

If the UV-C products follow Beeston’s recommendations, he said they can be a better alternative to chemicals.

“Chemicals are hard on your skin. Chemicals are hard on your respiratory when you breathe all the time,” Beeston noted.

Vioguard makes things like self-sanitizing keyboards with a special patented technology approved by the FDA that has been used in hospitals for years. He said he hopes by sharing this information, the products you buy will be safe and kill COVID-19.

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