By Leslie Feldman
Now, more than ever, sanitizing our environment is absolutely imperative to stave off viruses, like COVID-19, that might end up on surfaces. Realizing this need, 3B Medical has developed a UVC wand, called the Lumin Wand.
Lumin is a family of germicidal UVC disinfecting devices which includes the Lumin CPAP Cleaner and Multipurpose Sanitizer, the Lumin Bullet and now the Lumin Wand. With COVID-19, the company expects demand for Lumin Wand to be very strong.
“I personally purchased a travel wand when the pandemic started. But we work with UVC a lot and I was curious and went to test it,” says Alex Lucio, President, 3B Products. “It was the wrong wavelength and was not even germicidal (UVA and not UVC wavelength). I then purchased three other models. They use weak UVC LEDs and the irradiance dose at 1″ is almost not measurable. So not a single UV wand that we tested works, they are all toys.”
Lucio knew he could do better. He wanted to design a UVC wand that actually worked, could be validated by independent testing, and powered high enough to disinfect work surfaces at a DME or sleep lab, as well as a consumer device for patients. “The challenge in doing that is that if the wand is powered high enough to clean a surface by just waving the wand near the surface, then it poses a safety issue to skin and eyes,” he explains. “In other words, the real challenge to designing the Lumin Wand was in childproofing the device.”
Lucio believes they did a pretty clever job of that. With a five-hour battery, built-in proximity sensor and accelerometer to ensure safe operation, and a germicidal UVC output that is lab tested to kill most bacteria and viruses, the Lumin Wand distinguishes itself as the high-end professional use device in this product space. The device can detect a turn of the wrist, so if you have the device on facing a surface and turn the device to look at it, it automatically shuts off. Likewise, if you lift the device up from the surface, it also turns off.
If you make a UVC wand strong enough to sanitize a surface, it is also mandatory that a lot of thought goes into designing a safe device. Lumin Wand has several patent-pending safety features that turn off the UVC lamp if a user handles it improperly or attempts to look at the light. Lumin Wand was designed with both an accelerometer and a proximity sensor to reduce the risk of improper use and harm to the user. “We spent a lot of time working on safety.”
Once the safety issue was resolved, Lucio and his team focused on bringing the highest-powered UVC wand to market. “The prototypes were quickly put to use in our office, and are now used to disinfect common work areas, office restrooms, the lobby and doorknobs,” comments Lucio. “In my home, my wife has one in the kitchen for her cutting board and kitchen counters and one in each bathroom. It’s much more convenient than using disinfecting liquids.”
In terms of definitions, ultraviolet light exists within the spectrum of light between 10 and 400 nm. The germicidal range of UV is within the 100-280nm wavelengths, known as UV-C, with the peak wavelength for germicidal activity being 265 nm. This range of UV light is absorbed by the DNA and RNA of microorganisms, which causes changes in the DNA and RNA structure, rendering the microorganisms incapable of replicating. A cell that can’t reproduce is considered dead; since it is unable to multiply to infectious numbers within a host. This is why UV disinfection is sometimes called ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI).
Lucio explains that some of the wands on the market are putting out UVA, and not UVC. With the rest, if they were UVC, there is almost no measurable UVC within the few seconds that a wand would have contact with the surface. To be effective within seconds, the UVC irradiance output must be relatively high. The dosage, a product of UV light intensity and exposure time, is usually measured in microjoules per square centimeter or shown as mJ/cm2.
“The Lumin Wand is the only professional use product. 3B Medical lab-tested Lumin Wand on most of the pathogens that you will find in a bathroom or kitchen, including E. Coli, Listeria, Salmonella, and even Staph,” adds Lucio. “It is able to eradicate all of these.”
For more information on the Lumin Wand, visit www.3Bproducts.com or call (863) 226-6285
Leslie Feldman is a contributing writer to RTSleepWorld and is based in the Philadelphia area.