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Some UV wands can injure your eyes, skin in seconds

UV wands can sanitize everything from countertops to hotel rooms, and many of these wands are available for consumers to buy. While available, some UV wands are not safe for consumers to use, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The FDA has found that some UV wands sold to consumers give off unsafe levels of UV-C radiation, and the level of UV-C radiation can be 3,000 times higher than the level considered safe.

If you use a wand that gives off unsafe levels of UV-C radiation, you can injure yourself and people nearby. Unsafe levels of UV-C radiation can cause a skin reaction that looks like a burn. An unsafe level of UV-C radiation can also injure eyes, causing a temporary and painful burn. Both injuries can occur in seconds.

FDA testing found that some UV wands sold to the public give off UV-C radiation that can injure your skin, eyes, or both in seconds

These injuries occur when the level of UV-C is higher than considered safe.

Hand holding a stopwatch

To avoid injuries from UV-C wands, the FDA urges you to:

Getty Images

U.S. Food and Drug Administration, “Do Not Use Ultraviolet (UV) Wands That Give Off Unsafe Levels of Radiation: FDA Safety Communication.” Last updated 8/17/2023. Last accessed 8/21/2023.

Written by:
Paula Ludmann, MS

Reviewed by:
Brendan Camp, MD, FAAD
Amanda Friedrichs, MD, FAAD
Sanna Ronkainen, MD, FAAD

Last updated: 9/6/23