8 ultraviolet wands could pose radiation injury hazard, FDA warns

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers against purchasing eight ultraviolet wands used for disinfection due to high levels of radiation that could cause injury, the agency announced on Wednesday.

Some of the UV wands are said to have up to 3,000 times the recommended amount of ultraviolet-C exposure, the FDA said. The eight products are:

  • Safe T Lite by Max-lux Corporation

  • OttLite Rechargeable UVC Disinfection Wand, Model UV10002M, from OttLite Technologies

  • UVILIZER FLIP, model SG-153 from In My Bathroom LLC.

  • Portable UV wand sterilizer, also from In My Bathroom

  • Vanelc PURPLEGLOW ultraviolet sterilizing lamp

  • Sharper Image Portable UV Disinfection Wand, Model 101362 from MerchSource LLC

  • SurfaceSoap UV from PhoneSoap LLC

  • Magic UV Light Sanitizer by Magic UV Light Sanitizer

Use of the products or their approach may cause erythema, a burn-like skin reaction, or photokeratitis, an eye injury that can cause severe pain, after only a few seconds of exposure, the FDA said. The products also lacked proper safety information, the agency noted.

“When a product is advertised to disinfect in seconds, it likely means it emits a dangerous level of UV-C radiation,” the agency wrote. “The FDA recommends that consumers not use these products and consider using safer alternative methods.”

The FDA sent letters to the manufacturers of the product notifying them of the defect, the agency said, and it planned to work with the companies to “ensure adequate corrective actions.”

Rochelle Torke, a spokesperson for PhoneSoap, said the UV wand in question has undergone rigorous safety testing and also has a hand guard and “other features” that help prevent dangerous exposure to light. UV-C.

“Phonesoap takes these concerns very seriously and is actively engaging with the FDA to explore solutions,” Ms. Torke wrote in a statement. “After 10 years of leadership in UV light technology, we have always put safety first with every product we have designed. Our UV disinfection wand is no exception.

The other companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Ultraviolet tools have been used for decades to help curb the spread of bacteria, the FDA said. But amid the coronavirus pandemic, interest in the products grew as people searched for solutions to kill the virus. The ultraviolet disinfection industry is expected to reach $8.3 billion by 2027, according to a Reportlinker.com report earlier this year.

Research shows UV radiation can kill Covid-19 bacteria but the FDA says more information is needed on its effectiveness and on the duration and strength of the dose.

Overexposure to UV rays can lead to serious health problems, including skin cancer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have said. Skin cancer is the most common type in the United States, with more than 88,000 new cases declared in 2019, the latest year for which data are available.

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