Beware of products being sold online that claim to kill COVID-19, engineer warns
TORONTO -- A retired engineer from Toronto says consumers should be careful before buying products that claim to kill COVID-19.
Brian Quigg said he was interested in buying a facemask with an ultraviolet disinfector and found a similar product on Walmart’s website for $40.
Quigg said he then disassembled the device to see how it worked.
“Low and behold the bulb is a UV 9-watt bulb and I looked and it operates in the UVA spectrum which means it has no disinfection potential whatsoever," said Quigg.
According to Quigg, to have any disinfection potential you need UVC light.
“And this bulb operates at 365 nanometers which is UVA light so it can't do the job."
Quigg said he was also concerned when he saw what appeared to be the same unit on Walmart’s website being sold as a nail dryer.
“I went to the Walmart site and saw the identical unit is being used as a nail dryer," Quigg said.
Spenergy Certified Solutions is a company from Kitchener-Waterloo that installs UVC lighting to kill COVID-19. We asked president Gib Wood to review the product and he too felt it had no disinfecting abilities.
“There are C-F-L bulbs in there that have no ability whatsoever to give any kind of disinfecting,” Wood said.
When CTV News Toronto contacted Walmart a spokesperson told us “this item is sold by a third-party seller on our marketplace website. Third parties are responsible for how their product is described and for complying with all laws…”
The Walmart spokesperson added “we can confirm the product was removed from the site by the seller.”
WFC Solutions Corp., the company that sells the device, said they are investigating the matter and that Quigg’s order was refunded. They also say that the product has not been available for sale since June 8.
Quigg said he wanted to tell his story because he didn't want anyone who purchased the product to have a false sense of security.
“If you’re putting your facemask or cell phone in there you may think that it is doing some disinfecting - when it's not," said Gibb.