UV light sterilizing face masks

A number of businesses unveiled or promoted UV light devices this spring as COVID-19 continued its spread across the United States. (The owner of a professional hockey team even donated a UV light device to a homeless shelter in Washington, D.C., according to NHL.com.) While these moves no doubt do good work in various applications, some experts and even a few of the device manufacturers themselves are second guessing some of the ways they're used, reports Inc.

One of the companies that recently began selling a product said to disinfect using UV light, Healthe, ended up removing that very product from its website after further consideration. The product, a portal that is supposed to disinfect when people walk through it, has not been activated by those who have purchased the device. The reason for this walk-back on the product, according to Healthe's founder, is that it's unknown who should be regulating such devices.

Ed Nardell, a professor of environmental health and infectious diseases at Harvard Medical School and a member of Illuminating Engineering Society's safety committee, tells Inc. that the society had voiced concerns over Healthe's device and its capabilities for months.

Others question whether the use of this UV light is safe for use on humans and say that more testing needs to be done before it can be proven.

The testing better happen fast, as the UV disinfection equipment market is expected to grow from $2.9 billion in 2020 to more than $5 billion in 2025, according to Inc.'s reporting of research from Marktets and Markets.