For my Corona Virus invention, I thought the biggest need for society was a better way to clean new items coming into your household. While items such as produce can be washed with soap and water, items like cans, bags, and bottles are harder to clean. While many families are utilizing products like Clorox wipes they can be hard to find during a pandemic.
These wipes are also single-use and not sustainable; my solution to this is a box that uses UV-C rays to kill all pathogens on the item. These rays have the potential to be very dangerous to humans if we expose ourselves to them. UV rays are responsible for skin cancer and other skin diseases so the box is well sealed to make sure these rays don’t escape the box and harm humans. However, the reason why they’re dangerous to humans is the same reason why it kills all pathogens that could be on an item. UV rays pierce the protective layer around cells and mutate the DNA inside the nucleus; this renders the germ useless as it loses all of the harmful DNA it had and dies eventually. This is why only non-biological items can be placed in the box.
The technique of using UV-C rays to sterilize objects is already in effect with the biggest example being drinking water. Many cities use a UV ray system to sterilize drinking water and remove all harmful bacteria in it. For the actual contraption, it will be made out of a simple plastic since acrylic plastics don’t let UV-C rays go through them. While the UV-C rays do heat up the surroundings and the object, it’s not hot enough to melt plastic or make a substantial difference to the item in the box. Inside the appliance, there will be four UV lights, one on each wall. Once the button is pressed to start, the box will lock and a light will turn on while the UV lights are on.
This light will turn off once the cleaning process is finished and it is safe to open. There will also be an air circulation device inside the box to help clean the object and make the disinfection more reliable. Products like these are already used in labs to disinfect items such as glassware and pipets so it’s not unreasonable to transform it into a device that would belong in every household to disinfect things, even after the COVID-19 outbreak.