Some ultraviolet wands pose risk of radiation injury, FDA says

Some ultraviolet wands pose risk of radiation injury, FDA says

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Americans are being urged against using eight ultraviolet wands used to disinfect surfaces because of high levels of radiation the products emit that can cause injuries to the skin and eyes of those nearby.

Tests by the Food and Drug Administration found some products produce as much as 3,000 times the recommended exposure to ultraviolet-C radiation, the agency said on Wednesday in a statement.

Using the products (listed below) even for a few seconds might cause a burn-like skin reaction called erythema, or photokeratitis, an injury that can cause severe pain and a feeling of having sand in the eyes, the FDA cautioned. 

“When a product is advertised to disinfect in seconds, it likely means that it gives off an unsafe level of UV-C radiation,” the agency stated. 

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UV wands may introduce health risks to the user or a person nearby.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration


The FDA has notified manufacturers of the dangerous defect and plans to work with the companies to “ensure adequate corrective actions.” 

The agency advises consumers against using UV wands that don’t include safety instructions or information on the radiation emitted by the products. It also advised people to consider using products other than UV wands to kill germs, such as chemical cleaners. 

Regulators warned against using the following UV wands: 

  • Safe T Lite from Max-lux Corp.
  • OttLite Rechargeable UVC Disinfecting wand, model UV100002M, from LottLite Technologies
  • UVILIZER FLIP, model SG-153 from In My Bathroom 
  • Portable UV Light Wand Sterilizer from In My Bathroom
  • Ultraviolet Sterilamp PURPLEGLOW from Vanelc
  • Sharper Image UV Sanitizing Portable Wand, model 101362 from MerchSource
  • SurfaceSoap UV from PhoneSoap
  • Magic UV Light Sanitizer from Magic UV Light Sanitizer

None of the seven companies that make the wands responded to requests for comment from CBS MoneyWatch.

Ultraviolet tools have long been used to help curtail the spread of bacteria, but interest in such products increased during the pandemic as people sought for ways to protect themselves from COVID-19

Too much exposure to UV radiation can cause other medical problems, including skin cancer, the most common form in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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