Health Canada has issued a warning against using ultraviolet (UV) lights and wands that falsely claim to disinfect household items against COVID-19.
The federal agency says they are aware of products that are advertised as using UV light to rid personal items, such as keys and cellphones, of the virus.
“Health Canada has not yet received any evidence to demonstrate that UV lights can protect specifically against COVID-19,” they said in a release. “Selling or advertising health products that make false or misleading claims is illegal.”
In addition to the claims being unproven, they are also harmful, the health authority said.
Some of the products being sold use ultraviolet C light (UVC), which is an extremely dangerous form of UV radiation. Although UVC can destroy some germs on non-porous surfaces, there is a risk that it can cause harm or injury if used on skin, Health Canada says.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has also warned against using UV light to disinfect hands or other areas of the body, as it can cause skin irritation and eye damage.
Health Canada recommends that anyone who has purchased a UV light or wand that claims to prevent COVID-19 to stop using it immediately. If you have used the products on your skin and have any concerns, contact a healthcare professional.
They are also asking anyone with information on the sale of these products in Canada to report it.
“UV light products should not be used as a substitute for prevention measures such as frequent hand washing, physical distancing, mask-wearing, and cleaning and disinfecting,” they say.
Health Canada has a list of disinfectants and hand sanitizers with proven evidence for use against COVID-19.