What are UV light-emitting products?

UV light-emitting devices are devices that are manufactured, distributed, or used to control, destroy or deactivate viruses, bacteria, or other microorganisms, or to reduce their levels, by means of UV radiation except in swimming pools, spas, or sewage treatment plants.

UV light-emitting products are usually marketed as chambers (small/large), wands, and lamps. The main purpose of such products is todecontaminate surfaces, rooms, and household goods such as wallets, mobile phones, keys, etc. They file various decontamination claims and are traded and presented using terms such as:

  • Disinfection
  • Sterilization
  • Sanitization
  • Decontamination
  • Cleaning

Claims pertaining to COVID-19:

There is an extensive increase in the use of UV-emitting sanitizing products due to the COVID-19 pandemic which is mainly for the reprocessing or sanitizing of reusable medical devices. There are several products, such as UV lamps and wands, that are advertised for home use with claims that they can protect against COVID-19, however, there is no evidence that UV lamps can protect specifically against COVID-19. 

Health Canada has not yet approved any products that emit UV light with claims to protect against COVID-19 or infection and transmission of COVID-19. Making claims pertaining to COVID-19 by the manufacturers without any proper evidence are not entertained by HC. Health Canada reports that these claims have not been supported anywhere including the applications received by HC to date as well as by the scientific literature. 

Why are these products regulated by Health Canada?

UVC (Ultraviolet C) is a very hazardous as well as a useful form of UV radiation. UVC rays are found to be more effective in sanitization as UVA and UVB have less energy in comparison to UVC. However, HC is streamlining sterilizing products that use UVC radiation because it can pose severe health and safety risks. Below are some of the associated health and safety risks and corresponding considerations:

  • There is a certain degree of danger and injury posed, especially to the eyes and skin. This is due to various factors such as the duration of exposure to UV radiation, its wavelength, and dose. 
  • The chance of an increase in risk is more for an improperly designed, used, or installed product. 

How is Health Canada regulating UV light-emitting decontamination products?

Based on the intended use and representation of UV light-emitting decontamination products Health Canada regulates them as either of the below: 

  1. Pest-control products 
  2. Medical device decontamination devices

Health Canada also reported that it has approved only 1 UV-light-emitting disinfectant as a pest control product as of August 5, 2021. The regulations in this area are dynamic and still being fully formulated. For further information please contact jennifer@elexes.com 

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Elexes Team

Elexes medical consulting is one of the leading regulatory & compliance consultant for several industries: Medical device, Pharmaceuticals, Cosmetics, Food, and Biologics.

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