Advisory - Ultraviolet (UV) lights and wands falsely claiming to disinfect against COVID-19

OTTAWA, ON, Nov. 18, 2020 /CNW/ -

Summary

Product: Ultraviolet (UV) lights and wands for home use that make unproven claims to disinfect household items against the COVID-19 virus.

Issue: Health Canada is warning Canadians about the risks of using UV lights or wands that make unproven claims to disinfect against COVID-19. To date, Health Canada has not received evidence to support these claims.

What to do: If you have purchased UV lights or wands that claim to prevent COVID-19, stop using them immediately. Consult a healthcare professional if you have used these products on the skin and have any concerns. If you have any information on the potential false or misleading advertising or the sale of these products in Canada, report it.

Issue

Health Canada is warning Canadians about the risks of using ultraviolet (UV) lights and wands that make unproven claims to disinfect against the COVID-19 virus. This includes ultraviolet C (UVC) products. UVC is an extremely dangerous form of UV radiation and, although it can destroy some germs on non-porous surfaces, if used on the skin, there is a risk that it can cause harm or injury. The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned against the use of UV light to disinfect hands or any other part of the body because of the risk of damage to the skin and eyes.

Health Canada is aware of UV lights and wands being advertised for home use (e.g., for disinfecting cell phones, car keys and wallets) with claims that they can protect against COVID-19. In order to make claims that a UV light or wand can protect against COVID-19, a manufacturer must hold evidence to demonstrate that their product works as claimed. Health Canada has not yet received any evidence to demonstrate that UV lights can protect specifically against COVID-19.

To lower the chance of COVID-19 spreading in your home, frequently clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces and items (e.g., light switches, door handles, phones, electronics). Health Canada has published a list of hard surface disinfectants for use against COVID-19.

Selling or advertising health products that make false or misleading claims is illegal. Health Canada takes this issue seriously and has directed advertisers of UV lights and wands falsely claiming to disinfect against COVID-19 to immediately stop all illegal advertising, including on websites. Health Canada will continue to take action to address non-compliant advertising and regularly update the list of advertising incidents related to COVID-19 to help keep Canadians informed

What you should do

More information about buying health products safely is available on Health Canada's website.

For the latest and most up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit Canada.ca/coronavirus.

For authorized medical devices for uses related to COVID-19, visit this page.

SOURCE Health Canada

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