UV-C is not a new discovery, nor are the germ fighting benefits of it. However, the availability of UV-C sanitation inside the home is a new concept. As we harness the power of UV-C in the home to kill bacterium on our everyday gadgets like phones, remotes and money, we are paving the way to a healthier, germ-free lifestyle. However, what is UV-C and how does this technology exactly work?
It all starts with the sun
Energy produced by the sun is called electromagnetic radiation and has many different wavelengths. However only a small portion of these wavelengths can be seen by the human eye. The visible wavelengths are seen as colors of the rainbow and are defined by their length. Red (infrared) has the longest visible wavelength while violet (though invisible to the human eye) has the shortest. The short waves of ultraviolet light are typically used to kill bacteria, yet some of these short lengths cannot pass through ordinary glass nor most plastics, unlike long waves. When you expand on ultraviolet light, you’ll find additional lengths of UV including, UV-A, UV-B and UV-C.
What are the differences between UV-A, UV-B and UV-C?
The majority of natural UV light is generated by the sun with about ten percent of sunlight being UV. Of that amount, only three to four percent, UV-A and UV-B, penetrates the earth’s atmosphere. To note, the most damaging and shortest of the wavelengths, UV-C, cannot reach the earth’s surface since the earth’s ozone absorbs it.
All of us can attest to the effects of UV-A and UV-B. UV-A rays can sink deep into our skin and are the typical causes of unwanted dark spots, fine lines and wrinkles, and uneven skin tone. UV-A has longer wavelengths so these rays can pass through windows and without proper care can lead to premature aging. While UV-B, on the other hand, are well known for causing sunburn. These are the rays that skim just over the surface of our skin and leave a harsh, painful burn.
History of UV-C
The knowledge of UV-C has been around for well over a century dating back to 1845 when it was noted that microorganisms respond to light. It wasn’t until 1877 when British Physiologist Arthur Downes and scientist Thomas P. Blunt discovered the correlation of sunlight and the prevention of microbial growth. Downes and Blunt observed that exposing test tubes containing Pasteur’s solution, which is a laboratory reagent consisting of potassium phosphate and calcium phosphate, magnesium sulfate and ammonium tartrate in distilled water, to sunlight prevented the growth of microorganisms inside of the tube. With increased timed exposure, the test tubes remained bacteria-free for several months. It was later specified that the amount of light necessary to destroy the microorganisms was dependent on intensity and time along with the wavelength of radiation and the sensitivity of the specific type of microorganism.
Twenty-five years later, German Ophthalmologist Ernst Hertel added on to this knowledge by determining light in the UV-C wavelength, rather than UV-A or UV-B, was the most effective matter for destroying pathogenic bacteria. It was around this same time that Danish Professor Niels Finsen had won the Nobel Prize for Physiology in recognition of his work in treating 804 patients with lupus vulgaris bacteria with concentrated light.
During UV-C’s inception, William F. Wells, a Harvard University sanitary engineer, made a significant discovery in proving the effectiveness in killing airborne microorganisms via the application of UV-C light. It was Wells who discovered that bacteria and viruses could be spread through the air. Wells applied this knowledge and installed upper-room UV lamps in suburban Philadelphia day schools to help combat the spread of measles. He compared infection rates to schools without UV-C which saw a 53.6% infection rate, while the schools with the lamps had just 13.3% percent infection rate. With the incorporation of UV-C into air handling equipment in the 1950s, UV-C became a major component in the control and eradication of tuberculosis (TB).
How does UV-C sanitizing work?
Today we know the importance of washing our hands and disinfecting our homes to prevent the spread of germs. By doing so we’re removing the microbes affiliated with our skin, which are the microorganisms that can cause disease. And what do microbes love even more than our skin? Plastic and glass. They are attracted to our phones, earbuds and other items we constantly use on a daily basis. These germs are easily removed with soap and water or common disinfectants. However, washing electronics is not recommended. Disinfectants also contain harsh, toxic chemicals and can leave behind residue. So, while we never think twice about washing our hands, the moment we pick up our phone there is a set back to our precautionary effort to stay free of germs. In fact, a study conducted by the University of Arizona revealed that your phone carries 10 times more bacteria then most toilet seats. To avoid these dirty statistics and for a safer alternative to the above is simple – UV-C sanitizing.
Of the three ultraviolets, UV-C is the only light that can kill germs on surfaces and can help reduce bacteria on phones and other devices. It does so by penetrating the device superficially. The UV-C light interferes and destroys the nucleic acids of bacteria, viruses and other microbes. The range of light can also disrupt proteins in the microbes by killing certain amino acids. As a result, the bacteria are either killed or prevented from becoming infectious. In other words, UV-C light damages the DNA of bacteria, which in turn kills the bacteria.
In order to take advantage of UV-C sanitizing, special bulbs that emit the proper amount of UV-C light are needed to destroy the germs safely and efficiently. For best results, a sanitizer with multiple lights, such as the Elixage Wireless Charger + UV-C Sanitizer which provides eight superior strength 275 nm UV-C LEDs and full 360-degree coverage, is the best option for sanitizing your vital gadgets and items. From phones to AirPods, to baby pacifiers and everything in-between, it sanitizes the items in less than five minutes.
UV-C technology is not new, but the ease of accessibility and convenience is.
Right now, our health is priority. While we can protect ourselves against contagious illnesses with frequent hand washing and social distancing, there are still additional ways bacteria can be tracked into our homes and personal spaces. Hospitals are already one of the biggest supporters of UV-C technology to help disinfect against superbugs, while airlines and hotels are starting to take advantage of the superior benefits of using such technology. Though these industries are using large and powerful UV-C equipment, as a consumer the available options on the market have been limited until now.
How does the Elixage Wireless Charger + UV-Sanitizer compare to other sanitizers?
Simply put, the Elixage Wireless Charger + UV-C Sanitizer offers 40% more sanitization power and faster results compared to leading UV-C based sanitizers. It’s equipped with eight superior strength UV-C LEDs that deliver a total optical power of 1.6W. In less than five minutes, the Elixage Wireless Charger + UV-C Sanitizer provides full 360-degree coverage that eliminates 99.99% of the most common surface bacteria.* You get these results without the use of harmful heat, liquids or chemicals.
Not only do you sanitize your device, but you can wirelessly fast charge during the sanitation process. Optimized to support rapid charging on compatible devices, the Elixage Wireless Charger + UV-C Sanitizer can fully charge up to 41% faster than other leading brands. Plus, with the UV-blocking window on top, you can safely check for notifications. This feature alone is unique among other UV-C sanitizers with charging capabilities on the market and is a great benefit to consumers.
Built with safety and simplicity in mind, the Elixage Wireless Charger + UV-C Sanitizer has two LED status indicator lights – one that illuminates when the device is charging and the other illuminates when sanitation is in progress. It offers a simple on/off sanitation with an automatic lid-controlled start and safety shut-off, in case the lid is opened during the sanitation process to protect you from the UV-C rays. Simply place your device in the spacious chamber and shut the lid to start the sanitation process. With the press of the button, start another sanitation cycle.
With extensive accredited third party lab testing against the most common surface bacteria, including E. Coli, Staph and Salmonella, have peace of mind knowing that you can disinfect your devices in the most effective and safest way with the Elixage Wireless Charger + UV-C Sanitizer.
*Tested by ISO accredited third party labs against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus subspecies Aureus and Salmonella enterica subspecies Enterica.