Many consumers are aware of UV-A and UV-B ultraviolet rays, but they are often less familiar with UV-C rays. UV-A rays have the longest wavelength with UV-B rays somewhat shorter, and it is these wavelengths that are responsible for sunburns and aging skin. UV-C rays are of an even shorter wavelength, and so the naturally occurring variety is mostly blocked by the Earth’s atmosphere. However, artificial UV light at this particular wavelength has proven to be potent for sanitization purposes.
To harness this resource, innovative companies are turning their research and development to devices such as UV sanitizing wands or pens. This technology has actually been available since the 1930s but has recently come to a higher level of awareness as industries across the world seek novel sanitization options for various forms of bacteria and other contaminants within the residential, industrial, and commercial sectors.
How Do UV Pens and Wands Work?
First, how does UV light affect bacterial growth? UV wands and pens take advantage of the decontaminating properties of UV-C light with its wavelengths in the 200 to 400 nm range. Direct exposure of bacteria to those wavelengths will cause the molecular bonds of bacterial DNA – including antibiotic-resistant superbugs – to break apart.
So how does UV light damage DNA? UV light targets bacterial DNA and activates cytosine or thymine creation within it. By altering the DNA’s genetic makeup, artificial UV-C light can destroy bacteria cells, as well as inactivate their reproduction function, all while leaving animal cells intact. By adjusting the wavelength of UV light, UV pens and wands can harmlessly irradiate bacteria.
Manufacturers capitalize on this molecular process, building UV sanitizers according to the amount of space available for a sanitizing unit and the targeted surface for cleaning. A variety of at-home UV technologies, such as transportable wands and pens, are extremely successful in killing a range of disease-creating pathogens.
Benefits of UV Pens and Wands
Does UV sanitizing work? Even without chemicals, UV-light sanitizing is highlyeffective at killing non-beneficial microorganisms and does so almost immediately upon light contact. A UV pen or wand does not require special accessory equipment or additional materials and is completely transportable. As these technologies are not only highly effective but also inexpensive, they are an increasingly accessible option to consumers for sanitizing most surfaces on the go.
Additional UV pen and wand benefits include:
- Design. Manufacturers design these lightweight tools for comfortable handling and storage, so users can easily stash these small, handheld devices away in a bag. Despite their size, they provide an even distribution of UV light over a surface for optimal sanitization.
- Transportability. Once again, the minimal size of these devices makes them ideal for users to bring them along when they leave home, sanitizing high-touch surfaces when traveling or on any public outing.
- Safety. As long as users handle and operate the devices properly per instructions, there is almost no danger when utilizing UV light for routine sanitization. For added safety, some devices include sensors that automatically shut the device down if a user tips it upwards by a 90° angle to prevent eye contact.
- Rechargeability. UV light devices are typically rechargeable and come with an adapter so that users can always have their wand or pen charged and ready.
Travel Applications for UV Pens and Wands
Travelers are the target consumers for these devices, and manufacturers design them as a simple and affordable yet effective option for portable sanitizing. UV wands and pens can sanitize:
- Bathroom surfaces like countertops, faucets, and knobs
- Cell phones
- Computer keyboards
- Gym equipment
- Hotel door knobs, light switches, remotes, phones, and pillows
- Plane headrests and seat-back tables
- Rental car steering wheels
- Shopping carts or baskets
Direct UV light works on practically any surface while requiring no chemicals and leaving no odor or sticky residue behind. Travel UV sanitizing wands and pens can give travelers peace of mind when coming into contact with high-touch surfaces away from home.
Sanitization With ClearwinUS
ClearwinUS is the US distributor of the CLEARSCAN UV-C sanitizing pen, which is highly effective at killing 99.9% of various bacteria such as staph. aureus and E. coli. With a life of 10,000 hours of light and a minimal 40-minute charging period, the CLEARSCAN pen offers users reliable protection against pathogens both at home and in public, and easy portability as the pen weighs just over one ounce at 4.9 inches long.
To learn more, browse our line of products, or visit the ClearScan site. If you have any questions about ClearwinUS’ novel and innovative applications of UV technology, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today.
High-touch surfaces are public spots that large amounts of people touch, grab, or hold each day, such as door handles, elevator buttons, keypads, and stair railings. For escalator handrails specifically, CNN reported in 2011 that these handrails are one of the germiest places in malls. Unclean escalators are a concern for workplaces, hospitals, stadiums, airports, metro stations, and more as well. Given the high volume of people who come into contact with such surfaces and the ease with which bacteria can spread by touch, it is essential to keep areas clean by sanitizing them often.
How Does Bacteria Spread to High-Touch Surfaces?
Imagine if one person sneezes into their hand and then grabs a handrail. That’s all it takes for the surface to become contaminated. When another individual grabs the same handrail, those bacteria can easily transfer to them, with that person at risk of becoming sick.
While person-to-person infections have a higher transmission rate, surface-to-person transmission is also a common source of illness or contamination. The periods of time during which viruses and bacteria can survive on skin or surfaces vary depending on the type, but pathogens transferred to our hands can often be infectious for an hour or more. When hands transfer them to nonporous surfaces like stainless steel, many bacteria remain infectious for approximately 24 hours.
Although surfaces such as an escalator handrail may look shiny and clean, they can easily harbor all kinds of harmful pathogens that can pass on to the next person who grabs ahold of it. In 2018, Outpatient Surgery Magazine reported that the Ferreira et al., 2011, study determined that of 80% of high-touch surfaces that study participants felt looked clean, only 19% of them were truly clean on a microbiological level.
What Bacteria Are Commonly Found on High-Touch Surfaces?
Without proper sanitization, high-touch surfaces like handrails can harbor all kinds of harmful contaminants. Some of the various bacteria on escalator handrails include:
- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). This bacteria is particularly dangerous since it can last on an unsanitized hard surface for days or even weeks, a longer period of time than most other bacteria. MRSA transfers most often by touch or contact rather than being airborne, often requiring a cut or other wound on the skin to infiltrate the body. Once someone is infected, MRSA is a difficult staph infection to treat, since it is resistant to many antibiotics, and it can cause painful abscesses or other skin infections to develop.
- E. coli. E. coli is another harmful bacteria found on high-touch surfaces, and it can last anywhere from 1.5 hours to several months. This bacteria, also known as Escherichia coli, can cause unpleasant stomach upset and lead to dehydration or, in severe cases, kidney failure. Many times, contaminated food and water spread E. coli, but it can also transfer via hard, high-touch surfaces like escalator handrails and elevator buttons when you have touched a surface carrying the bacteria and then touch your mouth.
To sanitize high-touch surfaces like handrails, it is essential to have an effective escalator clean-down procedure.
Clearwin Escalator Handrail Sanitizer With UV-C Technology
The Clearwin Handrail Sanitizer, a UV-C light surface sanitizer, effectively removes as much as 99.9% of harmful bacteria like MRSA and E. coli from high-touch surfaces like escalator handrails. Users simply attach the lightweight and adjustable unit, which consists of two side panels and a simple front plate with low-voltage generator power, to the handrail. This low-maintenance unit uses 10 sanitizing lamps that provide continuous UV-C rays with a wavelength of 260 to 270 nm to destroy bacteria for 10,000 operational hours. UV-C rays are a particular type of UV light with optimal bacteria removal properties, breaking up the DNA and RNA structures in the bacterial cells to destroy them.
Conventional methods of cleaning require containers of disinfecting cloths which are costly, time-consuming to use, and contribute to landfills. Traditional escalator handrail cleaner cloths can also cause cross-contamination among surfaces, and they leave the area sticky or damp, which is the perfect breeding ground for new bacteria to form. The automated Clearwin Escalator Handrail Sanitizer, on the other hand, is efficient, effective, and waste-free.
Partner With ClearwinUS for Sanitized Escalator Handrails
Cleaning is not the same as sanitizing, just as sanitizing is not the same as cleaning. While maintenance teams can wipe down the escalator handrails every hour, as soon as a hand with bacteria touches it, the bacteria is transferred to the handrail. Only continuous sanitizing of high-touch surfaces is the ideal way to keep patrons healthy. The patented, innovative Clearwin Escalator Handrail Sanitizer provides a solution to an otherwise tedious cleaning process, making it easy to keep surfaces sanitized with minimal cost or effort from the installer.
To learn more about our product and how it can impact your business and keep surfaces contamination-free with efficient UV-C light, contact us today.