“ Brand: UV-C Light Products „
The UVC portable wand is intended to kill viruses, mould and bacteria with very short wave ultraviolent light. This same technology is used in hospitals, high end aquarium filters and even to sterilise drinking water in some places. UVC isn't entirely safe, you wouldn't want to be staring into any UV light source, especially not a UV-C device as these are the most damaging of rays and the most deeply penetrating. There is some debate as to the potential for damage to the skin, but a germicidal lamp works by disrupting DNA bonds - it doesn't sound as if long term continued exposure would be a brilliant idea. If I thought this was producing UV-C rays and it very well might be - I would very careful to avoid direct exposure on my skin, and very, very careful to avoid exposure to my eyes. This is shielded - so that when pointed down the rays are all directed straight down. Had I used this as intended for walls and ceilings, I would have bought the marigold glasses, with UV shielding. I already own clear UV shield glasses, but yellow gives the highest level of safety. I'd have also worn gloves because I have an autoimmune condition and exposure to UV lights causes a nasty rash. I wear sunscreen all the time but too much sunlight filtering through my hair can cause a rash so sever I end up with huge open bleeding sores. Still, used correctly this could be a brilliant way to reduce the use of chemicals in the home.
I wanted this device for two reasons: The first was for science experiments. I have several minerals which fluorescence in the presence of UV light. The wave length effects the colour. Most have the most vivid colouration under higher wavelength UV light, but a few will only fluoresce under shorter waves. Many will produce beautiful, but very different results depending on the wave length used as some will produce different results with a long and short wave light combined. I do not own a short wave light other than this one - which is being returned, but I have seen some of my specimens light up under some one else's short wave light - so I know it should work. Additionally I have all sorts of other things that fluorescence under UV lights. I also planned to use this as a death-ray. We occasionally cultivate moulds and bacteria for a bit of fun, to determine which items have more germs, and most of all to play with under a very high powered usb capable microscope. I thought we could use the light as a death-ray to kill the cultures when we were finished - or in some cases before the children even touch the things.
The second reason I wanted this device is to kill mould. Take a look on the Amazon site and it clearly advertises that it will kill moulds. We have an older house, and we live on the interface. Roof tiles are forever being broken off when we come under a storm of bricks and bottles and the housing exec puts off fixing until the leaks get bad. As a result dampness comes in causing a constant growth of mould on the ceiling and on a couple of walls. I have asthma. It isn't bad as does not require medication unless I come into contact with allergens. Sadly mould is major culprit for me. I've had pneumonia at least 3 times a year for years now, and mould is a major reason for this. We do clean - all the time - but cleaning disturbs the spores as well. This sounded like it could be a godsend as we could kill all spores before cleaning the stuff off, and using every day or two should keep it from growing back.
Before buying I contacted the seller. I wanted to make sure this had visible UV light so I could use it for the minerals. He said he wasn't aware of the use of UV with minerals, but that it definitely had visible UV light and a well known chef used one regularly to check for crab shells before serving his guests. ( personally I would want to know if my food was being zapped with DNA changing rays but that could just be paranoia)Many arthropod shells fluorescence brightly under UV light. I have a scorpion ( dead and preserved) which lights up brilliantly, as do the joints on the spider, and some shells. If it worked for the crab shells - it would work for my purposes so I ordered the time, thanking him for his time and promising to write a few reviews of the subject, and mentioning that I would be growing and killing off germs of our own as well as demonstrating this to a home education group. I mentioned that on the off chance it didn't work with my minerals it would still be worthwhile to kill the mould.
I received an email later - after the product was already dispatched saying the product could not be used for the mould, as it would turn off at a 30 degree angle. He suggested instead a far more expensive item. He didn't seem terribly keen on my testing efficiency myself, and I would have cancelled at this point, but he hadn't waited for a reply. Knowing the item would not work as intended they shipped immediately rather than giving me a chance to change my mind.
He obviously had my email before posting the item as he sent some test results with the wand, from an independent company detailing test results. It almost seemd defensive - in case my results ended up differently and I did plan to test under different circumstances - mould and bacteria with the limited shelter of agar or food stuffs rather than an easily sterilised stainless steel slab or glass slide. I do have these tests and they do show a reduction on infectivity in a swine flu like virus of 97.842% which sounds very good. Of course this is direct exposure with the light held 1cm from the laboratory slide. Further tests show a 99 % reduction in four different organisms known to be a problem in food preparation : salmonella, e coli, staph and listeria. However, the wand had to be held for 45 seconds directly over the infected area. As the wand is only going to disinfect s few inches at a time, this is going to be very time consuming to disinfect a large area. This is on stainless steel as well, so we are not talking about disinfecting organisms embedded in something like a cutting board. There were no results in regard to the claim that this kills "99.9% of germs, viruses and bacteria as well as dust mites, bed bugs, fleas and their eggs", but if this true it would be a very useful item indeed for families having problems with these issues. My understanding though, is that this will only work to the depth the light reaches. The light is quite dim - and no test data was available detailing how deep into fabrics or materials this can reach. The company did tell me that even their more expensive wand " This unit can also be used on soft furnishing, but will only kill what is on the surface as the light will not penetrate beneath the surface. For instance pillows/mattresses." ( exact quote grammar intentionally incorrect).
Upon arrival we couldn't wait to get this fired up and check our mineral collection. This took some time though. My husband was convinced the bulb was broken as we couldn't get it to turn on and there was a rattly sound coming from the device if it was tilted which sounded like loose parts sliding back and forth within the device.. We took batteries in and out, tried several more times and eventually it lit up, but any movement at all caused it to go off. Still even if it had to be still, it if worked for the rocks it would be worth keeping. We have around 20 specimens, plus arthropod shells, glow in the dark plastics etc.... we kind of have a thing for playing with black lights at the moment. Not one single thing showed any response to the UV light at all. I could get the same effects from a dim white light torch. This just didn't sound right to me . How could so many items fail to produce any response?
At this point I was pretty well convinced there was no UV-C light. So my next step may have been foolhardy, but I had no more worry than I would with a chunk of uranium that 20 Geiger counters had declared to be completely depleted - showing no measurable trace of radioactivity. I deliberately exposed my hand for some time, waited a few hours, and there was not the slightest trace of a result. At this point I decided to return the item, and this is where the real hostility began, I wrote a shortened review on Amazon which got a response form a supposed customer so quickly I would bet 100 to 1 it was in fact the seller, and ended up having to file a claim with Amazon. Amazon found in my favour, forcing him to send a return label and return my money.
The bad thing about this device, is I can not honestly tell you if it might work on bacteria. I really don't know if my model was faulty or if no models produce any visible UV light. I don't know if this type of device can be made to function without displaying any visual characteristic of UV light - which is why I asked before buying. Personally though I remain very sceptical. I do know the constant cutting off with any movement makes it difficult to use. You end up having to turn back on constantly and of course position must be prefect each time or it won't turn on. The fact that it can not be tilted means it really can not be used on most household moulds. I mean how filthy would you have to be to have mould growing on your floor or worktop - and a sponge with bleach would clean such surfaces far more quickly anyway. I also know that taking 45 second to disinfect an area roughly 1" by 6" would be incredibly time consuming if one wanted to use this for beds, bedding or even a large worktop. It also seems that if will not penetrate the surface of beds, pillows or furniture, one would just as well off to simply hoover the items directly as anything directly on the surface should come up with a powerful hoover. In the case of lice or fleas an iron might be a better choice as the heat will reach some distance into the fabric killing everything within reach.
I've come to this conclusion now that this item is simply a gimmick to prey upon those with extreme fears of germs. I've concluded that even if it is effective at killing germs, and it very well may be, the small area covered, the amount of time needed to disinfect such a small area, and constant flicking on and off would make this impractical to use. Because this was only tested on extremely easy to disinfect surfaces, it seams like it would be far more efficient to simply wipe the surfaces down. After all, Dettol and bleach both kill 99.9% of viruses. True you have to keep buying them, but you would have to keep buying batteries and bulbs too. Finally this poses the very real risk that using the light for too short a time could result in pathogens left behind and serious illness if this were used instead of the old tried and true methods like bleach, Dettol or heat.
UV-C Portable Wand uses powerful UV-C light to sanitise, sterilise and disinfect surfaces and items around the home or work place.