CARY, N.C. (WNCN)– A local company has come up with a way to disinfect small areas to remove the COVID-19 virus, and they’re doing it without chemicals.

UV Innovators has created a handheld, battery operated device that uses a special kind of Ultraviolet light to kill not only COVID-19 virus, but other pathogens as well.

“If you’re doing surface disinfection, you only want to irradiate those surfaces and not everything else around you,” said Dr. Nick Medendorp, the co-founder of UV Innovators.

The sun is a natural source of Ultraviolet light, but not all UV light is created the same. Scientists divide UV light into three electromagnetic bands:

  • UV-A: the longest wavelength. That’s the kind of UV light that makes blacklight posters glow.
  • UV -B: a mid-range wavelength. It’s the kind of light that gives you a sunburn.
  • UV-C: the shortest wavelength. It’s absorbed by the ozone layer and needs to be created artificially.

UV-C is the kind of light used to kill germs.

Originally, UV Innovators was working to create a device with hospital disinfection in mind. When the pandemic hit, the makers realized the device could be used by lots of businesses dealing with the COVID-19 virus.

“This isn’t meant for consumer use,” said Medendorp. “It’s a medical grade technology meant for opening up business, schools, and getting life back to normal again.”

Third party lab tests indicate the device kills the coronavirus in two and half seconds by destroying its DNA, but it’s got to be used at just the right distance.

Medendorp said it should be used about two inches above the surface of what’s being disinfected.

UV Innovators handheld device

Because UV-C is invisible to the naked eye, the device has “visible guide lights” built in to illuminate the area that is being disinfected.

When the device is held at the proper height, the image from the guide lights should merge just slightly on the surface indicating the unit is delivering UV light at the proper intensity for disinfection.

The NuvaWave device uses LED’s to create its UV light, because older bulb technology has dangerous disadvantages.

“They can be hot,  as well as have hazardous materials that have to be disposed of,” he said. “When one of those lamps break, you have the potential of mercury exposure.”

The NuvaWave device is not intended replace the deep cleanings used to kill pathogens like the COVID-19 virus, but rather to be used as a supplement in-between cleanings to do things like disinfect ‘high touch’ surface areas to make them germ free.