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Fighting Germs With UV Light Zappers: 'It Doesn't Get Rid Of All Viruses, But Brings It Down To Good Level'

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - This flu season, germ-busting is going high tech. From UV light products you can buy that promise to zap germs around your home, to companies specializing in something called electrostatic disinfection.

"One of the great tools we have now, it's called our electrostatic virus vaporizer," Scott Warren told CBS 11.

He's the Senior Vice President of Corporate Accounts for a company called Enviro-Master, a commercial health and safety company that specializes in preventing the spread of disease.

Warren explained the device they use puts a positive charge on their germicide as it comes out of the barrel.

It's just one high-tech solution aimed at zapping germs. While Enviro-Master specializes in sanitizing the workplace, a quick Amazon search reveals tons of at-home gadgets you can buy that promise to kill nasty bugs. Most of them work by using UV light.

"UV-A and B is what we get exposed to from the sun, and C is that germ-killing wavelength," said Dr. Diana Cervantes, an Assistant Professor and Director of the MPH Epidemiology Program at UNT Health Science Center.

She said these UV devices do work, but there are limitations.

"It doesn't get rid of all viruses and bacteria, but it brings it down to a good level," Dr. Cervantes said. It's technology even used in hospitals. The light is able to get into places human hands can't, but it's not used on its own. The technology is used in addition to the normal room cleanings. That's a catch that carries over to the household products as well.

"It's never going to substitute for good cleaning and manual disinfection," Dr. Cervantes explained. She said to consider it more of a supplement.

As for the virus vaporizers, Dr. Cervantes told us the positive charge does help germicide adhere to surfaces and disperse more evenly. That's part of what makes it handy in large workplaces.

Warren said there's also the added bonus that it's safe for humans and the environment.

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