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It was only a matter of time that someone came up with high-tech approach to our sanitation struggle, and it’s name is UV light.
While UV light sanitizers aren’t new, there’s been increased interest in small UV light sterilizers and sanitizers for personal use over the past few months. Even the MTA is using UV light to disinfect the subways (though perhaps not fast enough for New Yorkers who learned that evidence of the bubonic plague was found in 2015 at subway points across the city).
Earlier this year, HuffPost Finds reviewed PhoneSoap, one of the first popular UV light sanitizer device on the market. Since, a wide range of similar UV light products have made their debut.
Despite evidence of UV sanitation being used for more than a century, there’s still little modern research so far on the efficacy of UV sanitizers, and no single UV sanitizer product has been approved by the FDA — but that they’re working on it.
One thing is clear: More research is needed to know whether UV light can kill coronavirus.
How do UV sanitizers work?
UV light sterilizers use short-wavelength ultraviolet light to sanitize small personal items such as phones, keys and credits cards, as well as larger surfaces.
Ultraviolet light has been shown to neutralize airborne microbes so they become inactive. Short-wavelength UVC light “can kill airborne flu viruses without harming human tissues,” according to a 2018 study at the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University’s Irving Medical Center.
While UV light could be a proven way to disinfect surfaces, it’s probably not the most accessible or reliable method, and shouldn’t be your only way of cleaning and disinfecting, according to the experts. You don’t want to forgo other sanitation methods like routinely wiping down your phone and surfaces and frequent hand-washing.
“UV light may be used to disinfect surfaces in a setting where UV light does not escape to the surroundings,” according to the FDA. “If products generating UV light do not shield the user from exposure, they pose a potential health hazard, depending on the wavelength, intensity and exposure time.”
As HuffPost previously reported, be wary of ineffective UV sanitizer lights from retailers such as Amazon. Only shop from retailers you trust. Never use a UV sanitizing product on your skin — the WHO agrees.
If you’re looking for a high-tech way to keep your personal items clean, we’ve rounded up a few rechargeable UV sanitizer bags that fit into your purse to eliminate germs on the go, as well as UV sanitizer wands and UV sanitizer boxes that you can use to sanitize larger products such as tablets and computers.
Below, we’ve rounded up are some popular UV sanitizer gadgets that are on the market.
Take a look below.
Homedics UV-CLEAN Portable Sanitizer Bag
Jupiter Creations UVC Wand Portable Sterilizer
Sharper Image Travel UV Sanitizing Wand
Sharper Image UV Sanitizing Bag
Homesoap Sanitizer Box
Casetify UV Sanitizer
Lexon OBLIO UV Sanitizing Wireless Charging Station
Coral UV Sterilizer And Dryer
Vie Oli UVC Phone Sanitizer And Wireless Charging Hub
Verilux Clean Wave UVC Sanitizing Wand
iLive UV Sanitizer With Wireless Phone Charging nd Aromatherapy
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.