Technology Briefing: Handheld UV Disinfection Devices

October 21, 2020 | Evaluations & Guidance


Here's a briefing on handheld UV disinfection devices, outlining the key considerations for making wise purchasing decisions. We review how and where the technology is used, which applications it is best suited to, the strength of the evidence to support its use, and more.

Handheld ultraviolet (UV) disinfection devices emit light within the UV spectrum (between the 185 and 400 nm wavelengths). Because exposure to UV light is harmful, handheld UV disinfection devices should be used only with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including protection for eyes and any exposed skin (e.g., face, hands, wrists, arms). When used with appropriate PPE and following the device instructions for use (IFU), handheld UV disinfection devices can be used to disinfect precleaned surfaces in healthcare (e.g., patient bathrooms), industrial (e.g., manufacturing facilities), commercial (e.g., restaurants, offices), and home settings.

These products consist of the following:

  1. A handheld unit with

a) Lamps or LEDs, located on one side of the device, capable of generating light within the UV spectrum (between the 185 and 400 nm wavelengths)

b) A power button/switch with a safety feature intended to prevent accidental activation

c) An automatic shutoff feature that is activated if the device...

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