As a hospitalist, the amount of horrific infections that I see everyday is enough to make a person hide underneath a bed and never want to interact with humankind again. MRSA, H1N1, vancomycin resistant enterococcus, C. diff, and pseudomonas—just to name a few. My job is surrounded with the nasty, oozy, crusty, feculent foulness of human sickness and decay!
To combat this virulence, I diligently wash my hands, use antiseptic foam, and sanitize my stethoscope obsessively so that I don't spread these microbial minions to other patients or bring those nasty gremlins home to my family. But what about my cell phone? There have been some reports from the Wall Street Journal that our phones are a bacteriological house party. Does that prove cause and effect? Not really. But am I going to wait for a double blind, placebo controlled study? Ummmm... No.
So a couple of months ago, I bought this interesting UV sanitizer from Amazon call the PhoneSoap UV Sanitizer and Universal Charger:
So does this thing really work? Well... who knows? Without taking cultures from hundreds of phones before and after the "treatment", it would be impossible to definitively know for sure. BUT this much I do know:
- UV light is HIGHLY DESTRUCTIVE to the DNA of bacteria and viruses and fungi. When I worked in a research lab, we used UV lights in our sterile hood all the time to zap away all the baddies. UV light works!
- The UV lights in this unit seem powerful! I actually have to remove the plastic case from my iPhone because the UV radiation was actually BURING the case!—just think what it must be doing to the germs! Note that the UV sanitizer appears to be perfectly safe for my iPhone and other plastic gadgets (i.e. no frying or burning smell). Not sure why my iPhone case reacted that way, but it was kind of cool (and weirdly reassuring) to know that the UV light was able to do that.
- There is a light element on both the top and bottom of the unit so that it completely bathes my phone and other small gadgets in the beautiful glow of non-ionizing radiation.
- My FitBit One also fits inside the case so I can sanitize my iPhone 5 and Fitbit One at the same time.
- The unit automatically turns on when closed and shuts off when open. That's good because I would not want to subject my retinas to UV light. Also there is a timer that automatically shut off the light after a few minutes.
- Unfortunately, the unit is too short to fit my watch (which, I suspect, is another harbor of grossness).
- You need to supply your own charger. The cord tucks neatly into the side.
NOTE: I'm not getting paid for writing this review, I don't work for the company. and I didn't get a free sanitizer (oh how I wish!). I'm only writing this review because I want to make the world a better place... one cellphone at a time.