Q&A: COVID-19 Pandemic, Germ-Fighting, and Clean Hands

Note: The following is part one of a four-part question-and-answer with Dan Zubic, founder and chief executive officer of Handy Enterprises LLC. The company manufactures and markets HANDY Hand Sanitizing Solutions, a line of products that use Ultraviolet-C (UV-C) lighting to virtually eliminate highly contagious, illness-causing germs and bacteria, including the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Dan founded Handy Enterprises in 2017 after conducting several years of research and testing into the germicidal properties of UV-C lighting, leading to the creation of the patent-pending HANDY Hand Sanitizer product line.

Q: What led you to develop HANDY Hand Sanitizers?

DAN: It was a process spurred by a customer need. In a previous job in which we were creating video display kiosks, a customer asked to add some type of sanitizer to the kiosk itself. They wanted people to be able to sanitize their hands after touching the screen in order to reduce the potential of germ transfer after they walk away.

We started with an alcohol-based liquid sanitizer, but it was sloppy. Gel and alcohol got everywhere on the kiosk and within the electronics. So we started exploring other methods for sanitizing. After a lot of study and research, UV lighting came to the forefront, especially the germicidal wavelength of UV-C light.

Years of further engineering and testing followed to ensure the product was safe and effective.

We did a lot of safety experimentation as to the amount of light exposure, the distance between hands and light, and the duration of the light exposure to hands. We came up with the best possible combination for the safety that we're looking for, plus the incredible efficacy—a balance which was very important to me and the team. It was a total team effort to solving a need to enable people to sanitize their hands in a safe, effective, and clean manner in public settings.

After independent laboratories validated that HANDY delivered results even better than expected, we began marketing our HANDY UV-C Hand Sanitizers.

Q: What has the pandemic shown us about sanitization and clean hands?

DAN: In my opinion, it has shown the absolute need for sanitization of your hands. As population expands, there is more and more interaction between people, and hence the likelihood of transmission of various pathogens which can cause serious illnesses—not just the coronavirus itself. During the pandemic, the world understandably focused on the coronavirus, but there are a lot of other germs out there that people ignore or have forgotten about. These overlooked pathogens can and could compromise your health. And to make matters worse, they're easily transmittable from hand to hand, from hand to surface, from surface to hand, and so on.

The pandemic has reinforced the idea that we should be aware of these invisible dangers and sanitize our hands on a regular basis. This is especially true in public environments and where people will exchange touches, such as door handles, fitness equipment and retail touchscreens to name just a few.

Q: UV-C lighting has been around for decades. Yet it still is not in widespread use as a germ fighter. Why do you believe that to be?

DAN: To me, that is another outcome of the pandemic—it has accelerated the understanding and acceptance of UV-C lighting as a germ-fighting tool. As you mentioned, UV-C lighting isn’t new. It has been used successfully since the late 1800s to kill microorganisms in multiple applications. Its use proliferated after WWII for sanitizing air in hospitals, food processing plants, beverage production, pharmaceutical plants and animal labs—anywhere microbiological

contamination is a concern.

However, its everyday use by consumers has been quite limited until recently, thus creating a general lack of familiarity with it. In addition, some may have concerns from what they have heard about two other types of UV light—namely UV-A and UV-B, commonly associated with sunlight and usage in tanning beds. Exposure to UV-A and UV-B can lead to damage via sunburn and skin tanning, due to their penetration of the dermis (UV-A) and epidermis (UV-B) outer skin layers.

UV-C, on the other hand, with its extremely poor penetrating capability, is nearly completely absorbed by the dead skin layer at the skin surface. In addition, HANDY only uses UV-C lighting in extremely low doses and very brief exposure periods to safely and effectively kill germs and viruses that reside on the human skin surface.

Q: There are other UV-C sanitizing systems out there. How is HANDY different and unique?

DAN: I believe we're the only ones offering an ultraviolet hand sanitizer that has been fully tested and validated for efficacy. I am aware of other UV-based equipment that claim to sanitize, but some aren’t designed specifically for hand sanitization. The effectiveness of others is questionable due to lack of independent testing or their dependence on how people use them, such as wands, which leads to improper, inconsistent dosage exposure.

When I look at other UV-C offerings, I always question what research has been done on them. How do we know that that device and its implementation is performing exactly as it needs to in order to achieve the sanitization that is expected and promised, as we do with HANDY? We've had independent laboratories test HANDY against numerous pathogens. The testing labs confirmed HANDY to be more than 99 percent effective against almost all major pathogens. Through testing and existing customer deployments, we know that HANDY devices and how they are engineered are an effective and safe way to sanitize hands and small devices against numerous germs, including the ESKAPE pathogens, SARS-CoV-2, Norovirus, C. difficile and MRSA.

Note: Look for part two of this four-part series in the days ahead at www.handyuv.com.

Note: HANDY products are not medical devices and no medical and/or therapeutic claims are made.


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Source: Handy Enterprises LLC