In the past, UV technology was mostly used in hospitals, government buildings and large corporations. The UV sanitizing devices were either built into the air duct, water filtration system, or were bulky machines that could not be moved easily. The coronavirus pandemic changed that. Engineers have since then been developing portable sized UV sanitizers that are accessible and affordable to consumers. Products like UV sanitizing wand, UV air purifier and UV toothbrush sanitizer etc. are being used to keep our living environment safe from bacteria and viruses. While we embrace the latest technology, we should also keep in mind that ultraviolet light can be harmful to us if used incorrectly. Therefore, we should learn to operate these devices safely.
Do not shine UV light directly at ourselves
Number one rule: DO NOT, at any time, allow ultraviolet light to shine directly in our eyes or on our skin. This rule also applies to other people around us, our pets, and our plants. Most consumer grade UV sanitizing tools are not strong enough to cause severe damage if people are exposed to them directly for a short period. However, we still need to follow this rule strictly for our safety and for the safety of others.
Follow the safety procedure in the user manual
Before using any UV sanitizing device, we should read the user manual and understand what safety procedures we need to follow. Depending on what UV sanitizing products we are using, the instructions will vary. For instance, some UV lamps have an auto timer, and will turn on after 3 minutes whether or not there are still people in the room. Other lamps have motion sensor or infrared sensor built in, and will only turn on after the room is evacuated. Some UV light bulbs will generate ozone; therefore, they should be used in a well ventilated area. So, the safety procedure can be very different for different products. It is important that we understand how to use the products we purchase safely.
Handle with care
Most UV sanitizers are fragile, especially those that use mercury bulbs as the light source. UV sanitizing wands that use mercury bulbs can be easily damaged if they are dropped or shaken too harshly. UV toothbrush sanitizers need to be securely installed on the wall before use. Damaging the product would be unfortunate, but the more serious problem would be the toxic mercury contamination if the bulb is broken.
Keep UV sanitizing equipment away from children at all times
Ultraviolet devices are not toys. As mentioned above, they are very fragile and need to be handled safely. Therefore, any type of UV sanitizing tools should be kept out of children’s reach. If you wish to teach your teenagers how to use them, it is recommended that you supervise them closely until you are confident that they understand the safety procedure.
Let others know if a UV device is turned on
One of the benefits of using UV light to disinfect is that the sanitizing process is silent. However, this could become a potential problem. If you turn on a UV disinfecting lamp in the bedroom, let other people in the house know, so that they will not accidently walk into the bedroom that is being blasted by intensive ultraviolet light.
Read the user manual or contact the manufacture before making modification or repair
When a product stops working, the first question we usually ask is: “how can I fix it?” For UV sanitizing devices, some can be easily fixed by installing a new light bulb, while others cannot, or are not recommended to, be modified without professional training.
Tell our friends and families what we know about UV technology
The coronavirus pandemic has pushed UV technology into our lives. Just like any other technology, it comes with benefits and potential danger. The invention of automobiles makes it so much easier for us to travel, but it also brings the danger of car accidents. UV sanitizer is a great tool to eliminate bacteria and viruses; it is cost-efficient, chemical-free, odorless, multipurpose, efficient, and convenient. However, if used incorrectly, it can cause discomfort or more serious issues. It is up to us to spread the word, tell our friends and families how to correctly use these latest inventions.