Ad Alert

UV Sanitizer USA

When it comes to UV devices and COVID-19, there is no magic wand.

Over the last year you may have seen ads online for UV wands and devices that claim to sanitize surfaces and offer an added layer of protection against the coronavirus.

In one of these ads, above, a man promises to share “everything you need to know for protecting yourself from germs and viruses during this current outbreak.” He then produces a device, a small wand from UV Sanitizer USA, which he claims scans and sanitizes in seconds.

“This simple little device will eliminate 99.9% of bacteria, viruses and germs,” the man says.

He adds: “Now, you might ask: Does UV light really work? Well, in 1878, the sterilizing effect of the UV wavelength was discovered to kill germs and bacteria, and since then many hospitals use UV light to sanitize medical equipment.”

OK, but does the specific UV wand that UV Sanitizer USA is selling (for $60) kill the coronavirus, which is what the video on the company’s website is clearly implying? Let’s take a closer look.

UV Sanitizer USA claims its device uses UVC light or UVC radiation, which works by destroying the molecular bond in DNA.

UVC radiation has effectively been used for decades to reduce the spread of bacteria, according to the FDA. It may also be effective in inactivating the virus that causes COVID-19 – or it may not be. More research is needed. The FDA says:

The effectiveness of UVC lamps in inactivating the SARS-CoV-2 virus is unknown because there is limited published data about the wavelength, dose, and duration of UVC radiation required to inactivate the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

For these reasons, among others, the FDA recommends that UV disinfecting devices be used only after manual cleaning has been performed. So don’t toss those sanitizing wipes just yet.

According to James Malley, an expert on UV sanitization who was recently interviewed by the CBC, most publicly available UV wands and devices “do not achieve the level of disinfection that they might claim.” Among the products Malley has tested, none achieved 99.9% disinfection. Most killed only 50-80% of bacteria and viruses.

Given all of the above, it’s not surprising that a class-action lawsuit has been filed against UV Sanitizer USA, alleging the company’s UV wand doesn’t eliminate any harmful bacteria and viruses.

Here are a couple other potentially misleading claims in the company’s marketing: reached out to UV Sanitizer USA for comment. Check back for updates.

Find more of our coverage on the coronavirus here.

Our Ad Alerts are not just about false and deceptive marketing issues, but may also be about ads that, although not necessarily deceptive, should be viewed with caution. Ad Alerts can also be about single issues and may not include a comprehensive list of all marketing issues relating to the brand discussed.

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