Quick question: Are UV light sanitizing devices effective?

The short answer is yes, but the full answer is a bit more complicated! UV light sanitizing devices (prices start at $30) have been shown to be effective against bacteria and other coronaviruses such as MERS, so it is highly likely they would be effective against the virus that causes COVID-19, but there is not currently a 100% guarantee that this is true. UV, specifically UV-C, light sanitizing devices can be used to disinfect a range of items. Most commonly used to sanitize technology like phones and earbuds, these devices are also able to sanitize things like keys, packaging, sunglasses and even face masks.

  • These devices are not necessary and do not replace the easiest and most essential preventative measures. 
    • An alternative to these devices is using Lysol Disinfectant Spray to disinfect smooth surfaces, but be sure to follow the directions on the bottle and never use Lysol directly on food or on your skin. 
  • Phones and technology especially are known to be extremely dirty and in many cases they can carry 10 times the amount of germs in comparison to a toilet seat. So, it is definitely a good idea to sanitize your regularly used items and technology. However, even these devices are not perfect. They do not work effectively if an object is covered (e.g., by a phone case) and things like buttons may also not get fully sanitized. 
  • UV light sanitizing products should NOT be used to disinfect body parts, as they can be very harmful to skin and eyes. 

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