Does It Work: UV Sanitizing Light Wand

(WMBF) - Could ultraviolet rays replace the chemical cleaners some people use to sanitize their countertops? The makers of a new product hope it's the future of cleaning.

The UV Sanitizing Light Wand uses batteries to power a special light bulb that helps to zap away harmful bacteria. The bulb, according to developers, emanates a powerful wavelength of UV light to destroy bacteria.

"If you shine ultraviolet light on microorganisms, it damages their DNA and hopefully kills them," Dr. Jay Comeaux said, an assistant professor of biology and health sciences at McNeese State University.

Comeaux explained the UV light won't penetrate deeply into substances, which makes it beneficial for only superficial sanitizing.

The instructions to the UV Sanitizing Light Wand claims it kills several types of household bacteria. Does it have the power to kill E-Coli, Salmonella and Staphylococcus Aureus?

Several plates were coated with the strains of bacteria to find out.

The plates were placed in an incubator and returned in two days to check the results. On some plates, the samples grew with billions of bacteria strewn across the plate.

Comeaux waved the wand over the plates for different periods of time and at different distances.

"As we got further and further away, the effectiveness dropped off dramatically," Comeaux said.

As soon as the plates were hit with the light at half an inch away from its surface, the cultures showed a nearly clean wipe of bacteria. A 20-second time trial yielded similar results.

Comeaux said 10 seconds seemed to work well, but also gave a reminder that the tests were performed in near-ideal circumstances with only three common bacteria on flat surfaces.

"Our results may not be typical of what people would observe in other applications," he added.

The UV Sanitizing Light Wand zaps its way to a thumbs up rating on its "Does It Work?" test. The wand sells at stores across the nation for around $10.

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