The current climate has seen companies looking for alternative ways to disinfect and sterilise surfaces. For example, manufacturing giants Boeing Co, have been developing and trialing hand held UV wands to sanitise cockpits and cabins onboard flights. Many brands are claiming that hand-held UV-C light wands sanitise everyday items as a means to potentially help mitigate the spread of germs. 

Which begs the question, are they worth investing in? If you're having doubts, here’s what you need to know.

What is a UV Wand?
A UV Wand is a hand held device aimed to help protect your family from germs and viruses, ensuring safety throughout the home. The disinfection wand emits UVC short-wave ultraviolet rays to eliminate germs in a purely physical way, which is not only efficient but also without drug resistance. Sanitising wands allow you to wave ultraviolet light over anything you might want to disinfect and it’ll be sanitised in between 5-40 seconds.

What is Ultraviolet light?
Ultraviolet light, or UV, comes from the sun through the electromagnetic spectrum. It comes in 3 forms: UV-A (ranges from 315 to 400 nanometers), UV-B (from 280 to 315 nanometers) and UV-C (from 100 to 280 nanometers).

What does it do and how does it do it?
The latter, UVC (which is used for most disinfecting wands), has the ability of destroying the bonds that hold together the DNA and RNA of viruses and bacteria (pathogens). UVC light is lethal to pathogens because of its high frequency that scrambles and damages their nuclear material. Many practices, inclusive of hospitals, use UVC to decontaminate surgical tools and hospital rooms.

A UV wand incorporates UVC bulbs that eliminates the need for using alcohol or other antibacterial disinfectants. Due to UVC rays having the shortest wavelength, and therefore highest energy, they are more capable of killing pathogens on most surfaces. 

What surfaces do they work on?
They work best on smooth surfaces with UVC penetrating purely superficially. Unfortunately though, the UVC light can’t get into small spaces meaning items like buttons on phones or keys on keyboards, which are lined with tiny crevices, can't be cleaned properly. 

Is UVC light safe for use on humans?
UV light should never be used on the skin or any other part of the body. Also, please be aware that you should never look directly at it when using the device for cleaning objects or surfaces as it can damage your eyes.

While UV Wands have not been proven to kill the coronavirus, they have been put through rigorous third-party lab testing to support claims that it kills pathogens and research is still currently being conducted to further prove the positive effects of these devices. 

Only Essentials offers 100% Australian owned, protection equipment made for everyday use.