Our phones are articles of life that most of us can’t go without. Because we carry them everywhere, and everything that we touch touches them, they can be extremely susceptible to contamination from germs. In lieu of the current COVID19 pandemic, people from all over the world are asking about UV sanitization and whether or not it is a viable solution in the war on germs. Let us take a deeper look at the subject, and see how you feel about it afterward.
Ultraviolet Rays from the Sun
UV, also known as Ultraviolet, rays are electromagnetic bits of energy that come to the earth by way of the sun’s rays. UV rays come in different wavelengths and spectrums. If they are too powerful, they can cause severe damage to the skin and the eyes on a cellular level. Basically, the sun’s rays are radiation. If you know a thing or two about radiation you know that it can be a really good thing or a really bad thing. In the case of germicidal UV lighting, it all depends on the strength of the light that will determine how effective, and safe a lighting gadget can be.
Types of Ultraviolet
There are basically three types of UV rays that the sun produces. UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVA and UVB are strong enough to penetrate the earth’s atmosphere and be part of our everyday lives in a multitude of ways. UVC, however, does not make it to the earth and gets stopped in its tracks before it can even get through our atmosphere.
- UVA rays have a long and powerful wavelength that can penetrate the human skin through the dermis. These rays have been known to cause cancer.
- UVB rays have less of a powerful wavelength and can reach the upper layer of the skin and cause problems like sunburn.
- UVC rays have a higher level of energy than the other rays, but can only reach the earth’s surface if they are created artificially. These rays can still cause damage to the skin and eyes, but the wavelength power can be controlled so that it can be stronger or weaker.
Germicidal UVC Rays
Far UVC 222 has been in a lot of conversations lately because it has been created with a wavelength, 222nm, that is strong enough to inactivate pathogens, but gentle enough to not cause any damage to the skin or eyes. The most effective wavelengths for germicidal properties are anywhere between 200nm and 250nm. 222 seems to be just the right number so that it is effective enough to irradicate germs and viruses, but will not damage the human that uses it. Although the idea of using the light to fight germs seems promising, there are scientists that have different viewpoints regarding the safety of it that say that there is simply not enough evidence from experiments on humans to actually say whether or not it is completely safe.
Disinfecting Phones with UV Light
The UV light phone cleansing light boxes that are popular on the market today have some very promising capabilities. The concept is that you put your phone in the UV sanitizing box for at least three minutes and allow it to become fully exposed by the light for a period of time. The UV light inactivates the pathogens and stops them from being able to multiply. If the virus can’t multiply, it can’t spread. If you bathe something in UVC 222 light for a certain amount of time and a specified wavelength there is a good chance that you will eliminate all germs from the surface. So, do they work? Yes. However, whenever you purchase a device that claims to keep you safe from a virus as deadly as COVID19, make sure you do your research on that product and the company that manufacrues it before you put all of your trust into it.