OTTAWA – Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu wants to regulate the release of cleaning tools that emit ultraviolet rays, or ozone. According to her, these products are dangerous for Canadians and, contrary to what the manufacturers claim, are ineffective in killing viruses like the one that causes COVID-19.
Patty Hajdu signed a temporary order on Monday requiring manufacturers of UV devices and ozone generators — such as ultraviolet wands and ultraviolet disinfectants for cell phones — to obtain approval from Health Canada, under the terms of the Pest Control Products Act.
Until now, this type of device has not been subject to any regulation.
However, Health Canada notes that with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen the emergence of a range of new gadgets sold in the country purportedly to control or kill bacteria and viruses on all types of surfaces or even in the air and water.
We are talking about devices that may have antiseptic effects on phones or toys, for example, and other devices that emit ultraviolet or ozone rays to disinfect the surrounding air or body of water in an enclosed space.
Health Canada issued a warning about this type of product last fall and still says there is no evidence that these devices work. The ministry warns that prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays or exposure to a high level of radiation can cause serious eye problems, deep burns to the skin and skin cancer.
“To date, Health Canada has not yet received sufficient evidence to show that these products can be used safely or work as claimed,” read an explanatory note released by the government on Monday.
“Health Canada advises Canadians to stop using UV lamps and sticks that claim to disinfect and kill the virus that causes COVID-19, especially if the device is intended for use on the skin.”
The requirement does not apply to UV devices used to disinfect swimming pools and spas or wastewater treatment systems.
Other devices may also be exempt from certification, including those certified to meet “Canadian Electrical Safety Requirements” and that have a “UV lamp fully shielded or switched off” to prevent user interference. exposure to radiation;
Claims displayed on these devices will also be framed and should be limited to Additional Sanitation Claims.