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We live in a germ-filled world where bacteria and viruses are lurking on the everyday items we come into contact with. We are told a disinfected home is essential to preventing illness especially during flu and cold season but what is a person supposed to do who is sensitive to or concerned about harsh cleaners normally used to wage warfare on germs?
A device, called the CleanWave UV-C Sanitizing Wand, may be the answer. The wand from Verilux, Inc., uses UV-C light (ultraviolet C-band part of the spectrum) to sterilize and terminate viruses, bacteria, mold and dust mites by penetrating their membranes. This technology has been around for more than 30 years and is used in hospitals, food processing facilities and water treatment plants to eliminate contaminants.
Sanitizing wands are pricey ($60-$130 depending on the model) but have the potential of saving you money on cleaners and making your home freer of chemicals. That seems like a good thing as the air in our homes may be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air, according the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
An allergy/asthma sufferer, who first gave me information about the wands, said she started using one because she had a difficult time with chemical cleaners. In a short time, she found it reduced her allergies and reliance on her inhaler. Her recommendation sounded good since I am sensitive to chemicals too but I wanted to find out for myself by putting the device to a test.
My first impression of the wand when it arrived was that it was well made with good safety features. Once I was up to speed on how the wand operated, I was ready to do some germ zapping. My first target was dust mites on my bed. I should have picked something less time consuming because it takes 20 to 30 minutes to do an initial treatment of a queen-sized bed. You hold the wand approximately six inches from the surface and gradually move it over the entire area to be treated. The light needs to stay on each area for 15-20 seconds.
It didnít take long for me to conclude that dust-mite zapping requires someone who doesnít get bored easily and is highly motivated. I also began to question the sanity of trying to eliminate dust mites because they are everywhere in the soft, dust-collecting places of your home, such as carpets, bedding and cloth-covered furniture. It seemed like a losing battle.
I decided to move on to something less time consuming and futile. After all, there was a whole houseful of germs waiting to be terminated. The wand can be used to kill germs on bathroom sinks, toilet seats, showers, kitchen utensils, cutting boards, raw foods, telephones, remote controls, light switches, baby pacifiers, baby bottle nipples, toys, living room furniture, bedding and pillows.
Disinfecting with the wand is somewhat tedious just like all other kinds of housework but for some reason, it seemed more high tech. I felt like a Jedi Knight with a light saber whose quest was to disinfect my house. Since using the wand, I have not gotten sick (knock on wood) nor has my husband. However, we havenít really hit the peak cold and flu season.
This device seems like the perfect fit for someone who wants to reduce their exposure to chemicals but at the same time keep germs at bay. It may work against dust mites but one must consider the time factor and size of the task. It would be especially beneficial for someone with a compromised immune system who wants to avoid germs and stay well. Verilux Inc. also makes sanitizing wands that are pocket and travel size. For more information, visit the Verilux website at www.verilux.com
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