Effectiveness of UV light in disinfecting water has been known for a long time and is of great interest to travelers who may travel to places with questionable hygienic conditions. The most common methods to disinfect water are chemical (use chlorine), heat (boiling water) or filtration. Water borne microbes are known to cause diarrhea or other more sever illnesses. UVC is reported to be a very effective method to inactivate broader class of viruses, bacteria and protozoa commonly found in water, air and other surfaces. Simply stated, UVC will damage nucleic acid in the microorganisms as the wavelengths are absorbed by the DNA or RNA, rendering the microbes unable to reproduce. The effectiveness of UVC varies by the type of microbe, wavelength, and fluence (intensity and duration) of the UVC exposure.
UV disinfection is reported to have been used to treat water for variety of microbes including Bacillus spp, Salmonella, E. Coli, Hepatitis B, Cholera, Algae, Fungi and some viruses. While UV can’t enhance the taste or remove particles or chemicals, it’s very effective in deactivating micro-organisms.
In summary, UV light offers a chemical free process, doesn’t require storage and handling of toxic chemicals, and is highly effective at inactivating a broad range of microbes, superbugs and microorganisms.
V-Go™ built by Safer Planet™, is the first ever iPhone accessory in the form of an iPhone case with integrated UV irradiation and independent electronics that include an iPhone compatible rechargeable battery with many safety features. V-Go™ is designed as an effective personal sanitization device with many safety features. Efficacy of V-Go™ has been tested and proven at University of California, Davis. In these tests, 1 second exposure of V-Go™ resulted in inactivation of E coli and Staph.
In this experiment, efficacy of V-Go™ was tested against microorganisms in tap water.
Three 20 mL samples of Tokyo tap water were irradiated with V-Go™ for 0 (control and no exposure), 5, 10 and 60 seconds. 3 samples were prepared for the 5 second exposure while 2 samples were prepared for the 10 and 60 second samples. Samples from tap water were drawn with dedicated syringe and poured into a sterilization Pall Micro Funnel. The funnels were irradiated according to the experimental plan. The water samples were then withdrawn with a new syringe and poured into a quality monitor (QM)container.
R2A Agar (culture medium to study bacteria in water) were used to grow 1 mL aliquots of all samples. Pall's 37MM Quality Monitor, GN-6 Metricel (mixed cellulose ester) membrane, and white, gridded disc filters were used to study culture growth after 7 days of incubation. The unique dot grid pattern gridlines in GN-6 provides easy quantification of bacterial colonies. The final CFU (Colony Forming Unit) counts are summarized below. The results shown below indicate a significant reduction in CFUs even at 5 seconds.
While typically municipally-treated tap water doesn’t contain levels of bacteria or other micro-organisms at harmful levels and the volume of water tested is not very large, these results along with recently published tests from the experiments performed at University of California Davis on other surfaces such as glass, plastic, metal and cotton (face mask), highlight the versatility and potential utility of V-Go™ as your go to sanitization solution. At less than 3 oz, this iPhone case provides protection against microbes without the need for toxic chemicals that are harmful to your body. It's friendly to environment as wipes are not biodegradable and cost of ownership models show hundreds of dollars in savings over wipes. As an effective tool integrated with your iPhone, it's always with you and eliminates the need to carry extra devices such as wands, wipes, and chemicals.