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Local pharmacy STUFFED with UVC junk

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#1 Andy Perrin

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Posted 31 January 2021 - 02:49

Meanwhile, while we are agonizing over warning labels on UVC-related threads, THIS is what my local pharmacy (CVS) looks like! That's a whole wall of UVC junk. We have not one, but several brands of UVC wand, including the Sharper Image one which sells for $50US, two brands of phone sanitizer box (which at least isolates the UV from the humans), a "UV Portable Lamp Sanitizer" which, based on the photo on the box, seems to emit UVC in all directions at anything in the vicinity, and a big "UV Sterilizer Box" for medium-sized items. (That last one interests me, since it may be possible to modify it to get a camera lens in there.)

Attached Image: UVC junk_res.jpg

The whole "it causes burns and cancer" thing apparently doesn't matter to the people who sell this stuff. OR, and this really makes me wonder, it's not really UVC. It could be UVA and they are making fraudulent (or semi-fraudulent since UVA will kill germs if you give it 30 min or so) claims.

Edited by Andy Perrin, 31 January 2021 - 02:53.


#2 colinbm

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Posted 31 January 2021 - 03:01

A chemist should have more sense & know their products....?
Have you talked to the chemist ?

#3 Stefano

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Posted 31 January 2021 - 03:12

I too saw UVC stuff in a local supermarket (not a pharmacy). They had the phone sanitizer box as well as a UVC LED lamp emitting at ~280 nm. The LEDs looked legit, but were probably rated for like ~0.1 W of input power each, so the entire lamp would have probably emitted a few mW of UVC only (there were like 6 LEDs in it). No mention of skin and eye danger in the packaging.

#4 Stefano

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Posted 31 January 2021 - 03:16

The LED chips looked approximately like this: https://www.google.c...B9AQwg96BAgBECY

...or like this: https://www.google.c...fTE6OC01nPm2LOg

Just search "UVC LED" and you will find many similar images. These chips aren't rated for high powers like the 1 W ones I posted about in another topic.

Edited by Stefano, 31 January 2021 - 03:23.


#5 Andy Perrin

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Posted 31 January 2021 - 03:17

colin, it doesn't work like that here. I don't know if we have anything like a "chemist" in the UK or Australian sense. The CVS store is part of a large chain of pharmacies and the store is divided into two parts, a part that sells candy, food, and junk like UVC wands, and a separate part that sells drugs in the rear, which has pharmacists with degrees in it. The two sides are almost unrelated except for being owned by the same chain and being in the same location. The front part of the store that sells the junk has only a single person who watches over the self-checkout machines and has no authority and is paid at a very low rate. They also have no knowledge of medicine required, since they just help sell the junk. The pharmacists in the rear would know better, but they have no authority either, since the purchase of the junk is determined by someone higher up the chain in the CVS corporation. I could probably complain about this on Twitter, but that's about it.

#6 Stefano

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Posted 31 January 2021 - 03:25

Well, if there is something positive about this situation is that UVC LEDs and UVC lamps are more available. I just don't want to imagine how many people will misuse this things.

#7 Cadmium

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Posted 31 January 2021 - 03:59

We UV people are much more aware of this stuff than the average person. I have even come to question the hardware store variety black light bulbs, seeing some of them even turned on in store displays.
Before I because more familiar with UV I didn't think about such bulbs as being bad for my eyes. Now I do. I have the opinion that even one of those common variety UV bulbs can cause harm to your eyes.
My other thoughts pertaining to these new UV/UVC bulbs people are buying for disinfecting thing from the virus: First I wonder how many of them actually emit UVC.
Don't expect them to be exactly what they say.
Regardless, anything like that is a bad idea.

#8 dabateman

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Posted 31 January 2021 - 07:50

Yes I am hopeful the cost of legitimate UVC leds will be available to me. However, I pray that doesn't come at the cost of many people being injured.

This is just like the snake oil days of 1900s. Disease hits and we have a cure for you for a cost. But actually doesnt do anything good for you.

There are many that are just fake 385nm lights. Also the exposure times needed are greater than the attention span of the average person. You can't just wave a wand over something for a mili second and expect it to do anything other than burn your hand thats holding it at fixed position for prolonged time as you wave it over many things for a mili second.

#9 Bernard Foot

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Posted 31 January 2021 - 10:49

I can't check what UV stuff is on UK shelves these days as I only visit food shops, but these devices are definitely available online.

I'm surprised there are no government restrictions in countries like the UK or US - sunglasses have to be UVA and UVB absorbent, so UV is recognised as a potential danger. I did find a local government site warning about these devices ( https://news.wrexham...rilising-wands/ ) - but only in the context of warning against believing these will be effective against Covid-19. And the Consumer Association ( https://www.which.co...-you-dont-need/ ) gives a similar warning, but does also include a statement of the danger to skin and eyes.
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#10 Stefano

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Posted 31 January 2021 - 12:34

This situation reminds me of this post by SteveE. His memories are about X-rays, here is about UVC. Either these devices emit so little UVC (a few mW) that staying under the Sun for a while is worse, or as Andy said, they are not actually UVC. I believe almost all if not all the UVC stuff you can find in physical stores does emit actual UVC, while online you find many things that actually emit UVA, and not even 365 nm.

The problem is that if they emit so little UVC not to be considered a danger, then they really can't sterilize much. And, anyway, UVC LEDs are not the best source of UVC light at the time of writing. Mercury-vapor lamps are much more powerful and much more efficient.

#11 dabateman

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Posted 31 January 2021 - 16:25

Oh the USA does have rules. Please see:
https://www.fda.gov/...ap-machines-and

https://www.google.c...d=1612110291798

https://www.fda.gov/...and-coronavirus


This is the law section:
https://www.accessda...cfm?fr=880.6600

Edited by dabateman, 31 January 2021 - 16:30.


#12 Bernard Foot

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Posted 31 January 2021 - 17:03

View Postdabateman, on 31 January 2021 - 16:25, said:


But those links don't point at the consumer devices this post is about. The first link refers to products "using ozone gas or ultraviolet (UV) light to clean, disinfect, or sanitize continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices and accessories (for example: hoses, masks, tubing and headgear)". The second link I can't open. The third link is purely informational, and is related to effectiveness against Covid-19 et al. For the fourth link we see only the first page of what might be a multi-page document, but it seems to apply only to chamber disinfection devices.

But it seems there is nothing relating to consumer products like sanitising wands, etc.Not necesarily to ban them, but to control how they can be sold and what safety advice has to be given? For example, if I buy a non-prescription sleeping tablet like Nytol, the pharmacist is required to ask pertinent questions and to give advice on usage.
Bernard Foot

#13 JCDowdy

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Posted 31 January 2021 - 19:02

View PostBernard Foot, on 31 January 2021 - 17:03, said:

The second link I can't open.

Try this one: https://www.fda.gov/...136533/download

#14 dabateman

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Posted 31 January 2021 - 19:34

Bernard read the Guidance John provided the direct link to. The FAQ of the 3rd link is also relevant as the current thinking.

21 CFR is the law. 1000s of pages and approved through Congress. That takes a lot of time. I just zoomed into one section, but you would need to cross reference other related sections, especially on labeling.

A UV wand may need to comply with regulations from 800 to 895:
https://www.accessda...&CFRPartTo=1299

Edited by dabateman, 31 January 2021 - 19:44.


#15 dabateman

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Posted 31 January 2021 - 19:49

I found this publicly available uv wand application:
https://www.accessda...pdf/K982082.pdf


#16 Bill De Jager

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Posted 31 January 2021 - 22:01

View Postdabateman, on 31 January 2021 - 19:34, said:

21 CFR is the law. 1000s of pages and approved through Congress.

Here's a handy guide to acronyms used in reference to U.S. law and regulations:

CFR is the Code of Federal Regulations. These are regulations issued by executive-branch and independent agencies under the authority of laws previously passed by Congress. Text in the CFR was not passed by Congress.

FR is the Federal Register, where new regulations, deletion or modification of old regulations, and certain other administrative actions are announced on a draft or final basis.

USC is the United States Code. This is the integrated compilation of the entire body of laws passed by the U.S. Congress since the beginning. This is statutory law.

Slip laws (at least that's what they were called in the days before the internet when they were actual paper documents in the library) are individual statutes as passed into law. Since these may include various sections that are to be inserted into the existing legal code in various locations, and don't reflect passage of any subsequent laws that may have further modified things, they should not be referred to as a legal resource.
Studying the botany and plant geography of California and western North America for almost 50 years.

#17 dabateman

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Posted 31 January 2021 - 22:06

Please read this:
https://www.fda.gov/...nd-fda-guidance

This is also good:
https://www.fda.gov/...ly-fda-approved

Edited by dabateman, 31 January 2021 - 22:15.


#18 Andy Perrin

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Posted 31 January 2021 - 22:29

I think this is in the realm of magic amulets. It would be better to buy a gorgeous New Age crystal than this thing, which doesn't even have aesthetics to recommend it.
Attached Image: IMG_8783.jpg

#19 Stefano

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Posted 31 January 2021 - 22:38

About negative ions, this video explains their (real) effectiveness: https://youtu.be/ZQ--scjcAZ4

Seriously, It is insane that they sell those things. It is absurd.

#20 OlDoinyo

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Posted 31 January 2021 - 23:52

I wonder how much of this junk actually even emits the wavelengths in question. Does anyone verify this?