The bacteria and virus killing capability of Ultraviolet (UV) light is well established, and hospitals have long embraced these lights as cleaning tools using large, industrial-grade machines to decontaminate rooms. Now, smaller versions of UV sanitation lights are available to consumers, and in the post Covid-19 world are increasingly viewed as a household and office essentials.
The three main types of UV rays are UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C. Because UV-C rays have the shortest wavelength, and therefore the highest energy, they are capable of killing most pathogens (germs to you and me). UV-C light has a wavelength of between 200 and 280 nanometers (nm) and is highly effective at decontamination because it destroys the molecular bonds that hold together the DNA of viruses and bacteria. The correct dose UV-C light can kill any pathogen on Earth and has been proven to kill superbugs that have developed resistance to antibiotics such as MRSA.
The wavelength of the UV light in the BlitzBox Pro 8 is between 260nm and 280nm which has been proven to be the optimum wavelength for killing germs.
UV light itself is actually invisible to the human eye; the blue light from traditional UV-C lamps comes from an inert gas, and our UV-C LEDs are designed to emit a blueish / purple light so you can see when they are on. In case you are wondering, UV-A and UV-B light from the sun penetrates our atmosphere, and whilst it can give us a nasty sunburn, is not germicidal in any meaningful way. UV-C light cannot penetrate the atmosphere which is why sunshine alone is not effective at killing germs.
Does it actually work?
As long as it is genuine UV-C light and the UV dose is high enough, then yes, it works.
Since 2020 there has been a renewed interest in the germicidal power of UV-C light, and we have seen it deployed in places such as the London Underground and the New York Metro.
There has also been a huge spike in interest in personal UV sterilisers, and as we looked into the market we found that the vast majority of devices available on-line were of dubious quality. In many cases the amount of UV-C light emitted was of such low intensity that the products is effectively useless.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that mobile phones contribute to the transmission of microbial infections, and in 2020 they strongly recommended that users should disinfect their mobile phones regularly, especially in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
As most of us touch our mobile phones thousands of times a day, every germ we pick up along the way gets transferred to it. A 2016 study estimated that mobile phones are touched around 2600 per day!! This is why they have been shown to have up to 18 times more bacteria than a public toilet. So, whilst we have all been reminded to wash our hands often and thoroughly, it makes sense to "wash" the items we touch throughout the day.
A curiosity about the germ killing characteristics of UV-C light led us to be interested in UV sterilisers. This led to frustration at the number of bogus products out there, which ultimately led us to our mission of developing the best possible UV steriliser and a brand that people could trust.
In order to instil trust in the product, we had it tested by Swiss-based SGS, who are recognised as the world's leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. Not only did this mean we passed all the relevant safety standards, it also confirmed the efficacy of the product, namely that it can kill up to 99.99% of germs in three minutes.
We are aware that talk is cheap, and that it is easy to claim certain results. This is why we are happy to share our test results with anyone who is interested. You can see the conclusion of the germ test below, and if you would like to see the original document, just drop us an email and we'll send it to you.
A WORD ABOUT COVID-19
Above and beyond our general awareness of how many germs live on items we touch all day, it was the coronavirus pandemic that opened our eyes to the power of UV-C light. As everyone washed and sanitised their hands more than ever, we noticed that more often than not, those clean hands ended up picking up items that are never washed – mobile phones, pens, wallets, etc.
Whilst in the spring of 2020 UV-C light had not yet been lab tested against SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes Covid-19, as it had previously been proven that UV-C light can kill similar viruses such as SARS and MERS, it was generally expected that UV-C light would be effective against the coronavirus.
However, in June 2020, Boston University and a company called Signify (previously called Philips Lighting) announced that they had conducted research that confirmed that UV-C light was effective against the virus that causes Covid-19. The press release can be found at the link below: