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Frequently Asked Questions

 < TECHNOLOGY >

 

What is UV-C Light?

The UV spectrum consists of light with lower wavelength (100-400nm) than the visible spectrum of light (400-700nm). UV can be classified into three types according to their wavelength (UV-A, UV-B and UV-C). These UV wavelengths differ in their biological activity and the extent to which they penetrate inside cells and microorganisms.  

 

How does UV-C disinfection work?

UV-C (200-280nm) has long been known to have the highest disinfectant capacity. This is because of its shorter wavelength and the ability of this wavelength to interact with the RNA and DNA of the cells and microbes and disintegrate them. Due to this reason, UV-C is germicidal whereas UV-A and UV-B are not.

It is generally agreed that 254nm is optimal for germicidal applications. It is the same technology that is used in "UV Filters" in common water and air purifiers.

What is the need for surface sanitization?

Surfaces, particularly those of items such as wallets, cash, masks, gloves, phones, e-commerce packages, dairy packaging, CPG, office supplies and other items that are part of our high touch supply chains, can easily be contaminated and often carry doses of harmful mold, bacteria, and viruses.

The average phone is thought to carry 18 times the bacteria of that in a toilet.

Viruses, including coronavirus can also sustain on surfaces, making disinfection important. 

Why is UV a good way to sanitize objects?

As per the Environment Protection Agency [link], chemical disinfectants (including Sodium Hypochlorite) are not effective on soft, porous surfaces (eg: paper, cash, clothes, textiles, upholstery, covers, leather). Moreover, the spraying method is not thorough (the spray can easily miss parts of surfaces during application), does not work on airborne droplets, is prone to human errors while spraying, and can damage electronics. Chemical disinfectants like bleach have also been linked to chronic pulmonary disease [link, link]. The process is also labor-intensive and time-consuming, and well as expensive. 

Moreover, in UV there is no chemical residue and related corrosion.

Therefore, UV remains the most effective, economical, and surest way to sanitize most articles and items.

 

Is UV-C in killing coronaviruses?

According to Harvard University, the Coronavirus can stay alive in the air for up to 3 hours and on surfaces up to 3 days [link]. Other research pegs the number at upto 9 or even 28 days [link].

Exposure to UV-C spectrum has long been known to degrade [link, link] the DNA and RNA structures present in bacteria, molds, and viruses including SARS-COV-2. The American Food and Drug Administration has added UV-C disinfection to it's list of solutions to kill Coronaviruses [link]

Signify (Philips Lighting) and Boston University released a study regarding robust effectiveness of UV-C versus the coronaviruses [link]. 

Around the world, hospitals [link, link], governments [link], and airlines [link] are adopting UV-C technology to battle coronavirus diseases.

In India, renowned institutions like the DRDO have designed a host of UV-C based devices to fight COVID-19 [link].  

TRU-V UVCare has been certified to eliminate COVID-19 causing SARS-COV2 by 99% in under 10 min by an ICMR empanneled lab,  

What is the wavelength used in TRU-V Products?

TRU-V uses quality lamps made by renowned companies such as Philips, Osram in its products. These lamps provide output between 250-260nm (generally 254nm). 

What exposure time is required?

The recommended time of use to disinfect most surfaces is 10 minutes.

The actual time required to eliminate a particular pathogen is determined by amount of UV-C energy required to kill that germ (dosage) and the output power of the UV lamp (wattage). The UV-C dosage required to sanitize against various pathogens as given as per the study by Dr, Thomas J. Walshand Dr and Dr. Vidmantas Petraitis of the Weill Cornell Medicine of Cornell Univesity, New York City, New York and Dr. Wladyslaw J. Kowalski (link):

 

As per studies by Jingwen (2020), a 7J/m2 dose is determined to be adequate to kill the 2020 Coronavirus. 

The effectiveness of a UV-C lamp at a certain distance and exposure time can be calculated using the formula presented by Marcel Bentancor and Sabina Vidal [link] given the required dosage as ascertained earlier:

Where t is the time of exposure, L the length of the lamp, r the distance of the surface from the lamp, D the dosage required, and P the power of the lamp. In reality though, due to dissipation effects due to air (as UV-C intensity reduces with distance), practically, it is prudent to consider an inverse exponential relationship with distance.     

More studies such as the one by Signify (Philips Lighting) and Boston University (link) add show that UV-C is effective against coronavirus and SARS-COV2. As per the UV-C intensity required in these studies, and the experimental findings on UVCare products the time required would be under a minute again. 

Therefore, using the above, a 2-2.6W UV output from a 23-30cm lamp should disinfect most microorganisms at a distance of 30cm in under a minute. TRU-V recommends a sanitization time of 10min for optimal effectiveness.

What materials block and reflect UV-C?

Most regular materials don't allow UV-C to pass through. Most plastics, cellulose, metals block UV rays.

Very few materials reflect UV-C. Materials that reflect UV-C include e-PTFE, Aluminium, Stainless Steel, Duralumin (link, link).

Does UV-C cause Ozone generation?

No. UV-C does not generate ozone. UV-Vacuum or the fourth part of the UV spectrum (wavelength below UV-C) generates Ozone.

Is the blue light the UV-C light?

No. Lamps produce a blue, visible light in addition to the UV-C light. This is done to provide a way to examine the functioning of the lamp. The blue light you see is not the UV-C light. UV-C light is invisible and cannot be seen by the human eye. 

 

< USAGE >

 

What all can UV-C be used on?

UV-C disinfection can be used on any non-living surface to disinfect it. It is important to note that UV-C does not penetrate most solids. Hence, if an object is in the lamp's "line of sight" it will block it's germicidal effects. UV-C will only disinfect surfaces it comes in contact with.

Additionally, UV-C does not reflect off most surfaces, except special UV-C reflective surfaces.

Therefore, to ensure sanitization of articles from multiple angles, Tru-V uses specific reflective inner material to reflect light onto all sides.

UV-C must not be used to disinfect medicines, powerbanks, flammable materials or other chemically active substances as UV-C might cause structural changes to these items. If you suspect that an item you want to sterilize may be sensitive to UV-C, please get in touch with its manufacturer before sanitizing it.

Does UV-C harm N95 masks?

In 2015, findings by the CDC showed that high dosage of UV-C (in the range of 120-950 j/cm2) may have an impact N95 masks (link). This is more than 200X the energy dosage that TRU-V products give in the recommended time. 

Can we use UV-C to disinfect edible items?

UV-C has long been used to sterilize edible items such as juices, fruits, vegetables. There is evident research [link, link, link] on the use of UV-C on numerous edible items.

In 2015, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the use of UVC light to reduce the microbial load. In food industry, UV-C is already being used to decontaminate food and increase shelf life. 

UV-C is also being seen as a way to sanitize and increase storage life of fresh product. Please refer resources for more information [link, link].

Research has shown that UV-C disinfection on eggs is also effective in reducing germs and micro-organisms [link, link]. Moreover, industrial machinery such as the Ovotech egg-processor product are available specially for this purpose [link].

Interestingly, NDTV ran a story in 2017 about a Washington State University study on the scope of UV-C in sanitizing organic product [link].

However, it is advisable to read literature/studies specific to the item before using UV-C on it. TRU-V does not take responsibility for the ill effects of usage of its products with edible substances.

Can water be sterilized using UV-C?

No. UV-C is a surface sanitization technique and only surfaces are sanitized.

Can bottled or packed foods be sanitized?

Yes, however one must understand that UV (and most sanitization techniques) are limited to sanitizing surfaces. Hence when you sanitize packed foods, you are sanitizing the package and not the contents.

TRU-V recommends to not sanitize packages made from low quality plastic material and never exceed the threshold limits. To know more please read the section on UV-C effects on plastic on the TRU-V website FAQ page

Does UV have an effect on electronics?

No UV-C does not penetrate inside objects and hence it is perfectly safe to sanitize electronics like phones, laptops, and so forth. 

However, TRU-V does not recommend sanitizing power banks using UV technology.

Can I sanitize credit cards and debit cards?

It is alright to sanitize credit and debit cards using UV technology.

Can I place poly bags and plastics inside?

UV-C effects on plastics are noted in this article here. Over long exposures, UV can degrade plastics. However, this is unlikely in the recommended exposures in TRU-V products.  

Plastics such as PET, PP, HDPE, PA12, PA11, PA6, PES, PPO, PBT and PPO are regarded as fair. Good resistance to ultraviolet rays can be achieved from polymers extruded such as PTFE, PVDF, FEP, and PEEKTM. It is important to note that, in any case, UV-C does not have an effect on plastics more than 1/2 an mm deep.

General use poly-bags are generally made of LDPE. LDPE is regarded to have low resistance to UV. Hence, TRU-V recommends not to sanitize items inside polybags. Since UV sanitization (or any sanitization) takes place on surfaces, sanitizing items inside polybags will only sanitize the polybag. 

When unsure about what to do please contact the manufacturer of the item to ask about the item's safety with regards to UV exposure. 

Can we sanitize hands?

No, no human or other living creature should be exposed to UV light under any circumstances.

Can we sanitize batteries?

No. TRU-V does not recommend sanitizing uncovered / exposed batteries. Batteries inside remotes, phones etc. are ok to sanitize as UV-C does not penetrate surfaces. 

Can TRU-V products be used to sterilize medical products / equipment?

TRU-V products are not intended to sterilize medical equipement.

Is UV harmful to humans?

Yes. Naked exposure of any living organism to UV-C light is not advisable and can have dire health consequences. Whenever using a UV-C product, never expose onself to direct or reflected UV-C light.

Before you use or purchase any product ensure that it will be used in a safe environment. By purchasing items from Tru-V, you agree to have noted the risks involved, having read the Terms and Conditions as mentioned on the website and take full responsibility of the risks involved in operating a UV-C based device.   

How much UV exposure is ok for humans?

As per American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) published Threshold Limit Values (TLVs), the safe exposure limit for humans to UV-C is 3.1mJ/cm2 in a day as quoted by MIT and University of Ottawa (link, link). 

This implies that is takes less than 10 seconds of naked exposure to a 2.6W UV output lamp from 10cm distance to exceed the exposure limit. However, this falls exponentially with distance even in air, as UV-C scatters in air. TRU-V advises no direct exposure to UV. Please refer to the section on required exposure times to see the math behind this.

What are the consequences of exposure to UV-C?

Though the technology is still relatively new, as per the European Union (link) as well HPS (link) the chances of long term effects due to small exposure to UV-C is unlikely. This is mainly because, given the short wavelength of UV-C, it is shown to not penetrate even the outer layer of skin.  

As per the above and other sources, such as Klaran (link), exposure to UV-C can cause eye strain and Photokeratitis (also known as welder's flash becuase it is also caused if a person looks at welding in progress) which, to qoute the EU paper linked above, "is a painful but transient inflammatory condition caused by UVC and UVB-induced damage to the corneal epithelium. Typically it appears 6-12 hours after exposure and resolves, within 48 hours." Therefore, extra care must be taken to protect the eyes from UV-C radiation.  

Further, as you can see in the above sources, UV-C scatters easily in air and hence the intensity reduces with the distance of exposure. Therefore, it is a good idea to maintain a distance from UV-C devices for extra precaution.

Overall, however, more research and evidence is needed to ascertain the overall consequences of exposure to UV-C light.

How long does the product last? 

UV-C lamps are rated to last between 6,000 to 11,000 hours. However, dust and coating formation can lower UV output. Therefore, the bulbs require periodic cleaning and/or replacement to ensure output. The instructions for the same are provided in the User Manual. It is important to avoid direct airflow towards the bulbs. 

There is a warranty provided by TRU-V on each of its products as listed on the listing page.

 


< CERTIFICATION & QUALITY >

 

Are TRU-V Products Safe to use?

Yes! The UVCare line uses Tru-Lining material and has been tested by Government accredited, ISO 9001-2015 certified lab ACE TEST LABS for NO UV leakage from the bag while in operation.  

Are TRU-V Products effective?

Yes! The UVCare line has been certified by a ICMR empaneled government lab (CSIR), to act against RNA viruses including the single RNA SARS-COV2 virus as per literature.  

Are TRU-V Products quality checked?

Yes. There is a strong QC process and each product is checked before dispatch. TRU-V is certified to European (CE) Standards of quality as per the the medical device standards.

 

 

< POST PURCHASE >

 

What all can I use the product for?

UV can be used on most non-living surfaces including clothes, electronics, groceries, packaging. However, always refer to guidelines listed in the FAQ on the website if you are unsure of usage on a particular object.

Don not use on chemically complex of UV-C unstable substances like medicines, complex edibles and so on. When unsure contact the manufacturer of such products. 

I received my UVCare product but the light is not working. What do I do?

TRU-V products need to be setup. This is usually a 2 minute process which anyone can do.

For the UVCare range, please insert the lamp into the holder and twist till the connectors are in the horizonatla position. Touching the lamp while it is off is harmless so don't be afraid. Switch it on after closing the bag. You can watch the video for this process here

The bag is not heating up. Is this an issue?

No. UV-C does not heat up, therefore it is perfectly normal that the contents don't get heated up.

Some heat might be generated at the tube and the ballast/holder which is also alright. 

What should I do if the lamp inside is broken?

A lamp breaking is unlikely to have negative impact on your health. In case of accidental damage, ventilate the room for 30 minutes and remove the parts, preferably with gloves. Put the parts in a sealed plastic bag and take it to your local waste disposal facility for safe disposal. 

I see a bead inside the lamp. Is this normal?

Yes. There is some residue left over during manufacturing of the lamps. This has no effect on the lamp's performance.

I see some discoloration in some items after prolonged exposure. Is this ok?

Extended use of UV on objects may lead to some discoloration and change in properties but it is limited to the surface. 

What is the warranty cover and procedure?

Your TRU-V products are covered by a replacement warranty as mentioned in the listing of the product. This does not cover breakage post shipping.

To avail your warranty, just drop us an email with your order ID, contact number, and problem and our team will assist you at the earliest. Our email is listed on the contact us page

When do I need to replace the lamp?

Lamps are rated to last been 6,000 and 11,000 hours. Hence, you must replace the lamp after 6,000 hours of use.

Where I buy replacements?

For replacements / extras, please drop us an email with a picture of the part you want a replacement of and our team will help you with the same.

I can pile objects and sanitize them all?

No. As mentioned in the FAQ on our website, UV light works on the principle of Line Of Sight. Only surfaces exposed to UV light will be sanitized. Therefore, when sanitizing multiple objects keep them spread and not one on top of the other.

How will the bottom surface of a flat object get sanitized?

For optimal results, use the device on flat objects twice after flipping the flat object. 

There is a small tear caused while using the product. Can I continue to use?

No. Incase of any damage, tear, or wear of product, immediately stop usage of the product. Please inspect your product on arrival to ensure there is no visible damage.

NEVER USE A DAMAGED PRODUCT.

Is the blue light the UV-C light?

No. Lamps produce a blue, visible light in addition to the UV-C light. This is done to provide a way to examine the functioning of the lamp. The blue light you see is not the UV-C light. UV-C light is invisible and cannot be seen by the human eye

There is a slight odor after use. Is this normal? Is this Ozone?

A slight odor is normal and expected after UV-C germicidal use. This is not ozone.The widely adopted effective germicidal wavelength of 254nm is not ozone producing.

Wavelengths of around 185nm produce ozone.