“PLAY-ON” with DRY DISINFECTION
of Sports Equipment
Rear Admiral (Ret) John Palmer U.S. Navy
Chief Executive Officer, UVSheltron
New Market for UVC: We know about traditional use of UVC for space and object disinfection. Large spaces up to 9,000 square feet can be disinfected with UVSheltron towers like the Illuminant 6 and Illuminant 3. Hard to reach areas can be targeted with handheld units such as the Irrupt. Objects can be disinfected inside cabinets like the Elide or Chamber. However, a new submarket emerged as sports teams struggled to “play-on” during the COVID-19 pandemic. The question to be answered: “How do we disinfect sports equipment during and after the games without chemicals or liquids?” The answer is known as “dry disinfection.”
Disinfection Challenges: Linked below is a USA Today article published in June of 2020 highlighting the NBA COVID protocols which included the use of chemicals or soap and water on basketballs after workouts. But what about during the game? You cannot very well apply chemicals or soap and water during a time out. The only other option is to have a high volume of clean basketballs at the ready to swap with the sweaty equipment. This presents a challenge for teams having to keep gear such as football, basketball, and baseball equipment clean and disinfected without the use of harsh chemicals. Use of chemicals will disinfect the equipment, but they leave the surfaces wet/unusable in the short-term and sometimes damaged requiring application of leather conditioner to keep the basketballs, footballs, etc. useable.
Solution: Two of UVSheltron’s products provide a chemical-free solution to this problem. We have large and small cabinets that utilize ultraviolet light (called UVC) to disinfect objects of hundreds of pathogens in only one or two minutes—with 99.99% effectiveness on viruses, bacteria, and mold. No wet chemicals, no soap and water, no drying time…instant results.
- Elide: The smaller cabinet, called the Elide, is the size of a mini-fridge and can accommodate a regulation size basketball or two regulation size footballs/volleyballs. The Elide is the sideline solution and may be used during games on the bench or at a scorer’s table to rapidly disinfect items during game play to keep the contest moving…. for example if you’re rotating two or more balls into and out of the game. In one minute’s time, a basketball, a volleyball, or baseballs can be completely disinfected and ready for immediate use.
- Chamber: The larger cabinet, called the Chamber, is the size of a large sports locker and accommodates sizeable numbers of regulation size basketballs, baseballs, and footballs before and after use in addition to football pads, hockey gear, baseball helmets, bats & catcher’s gear, etc. Again, one to two minutes under the UVC lights is all it takes to make the sports equipment germ-free.
NCAA Pandemic protocol: UVC for Dry Disinfection is also in keeping with NCAA pandemic protocol. NCAA encourages use of UVC (source linked at the bottom of this passage). At the end of the section titled Mitigating Risk With Outdoor Training, it states, “Consider using ultraviolet germicidal irradiation as a supplement to help inactivate the coronavirus.”
Enduring pandemic pathogen management: Although much of the population is vaccinated, we still must take precautions to disinfect objects and spaces—especially with respect to sports teams. As recently as May 2021, msn.com reported the New York Yankees baseball organization had seven coaches test positive for COVID-19 even though they were vaccinated previously (source link at the bottom of this article). UVSheltron’s UVC products allow sports organizations and businesses to provide enhanced disinfection to prevent just such incidents.
How UVC works: The devices work through Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI). UVGI uses the short-wavelength UV-C light to kill or inactivate microorganisms by destroying nucleic acids--disrupting the RNA/DNA and leaving them unable to perform vital cellular functions. Our devices kill 99.99 percent of hundreds of pathogens (including viruses, bacteria and hard to kill mold & spores) without toxic chemicals.
At UVSheltron, our team can help your team protect the health and safety of your players, coaches, and fans.
USA Today NBA article on safety protocol: https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/2020/06/17/nba-safety-protocols-players-interesting-rules-no-licking-hands-court/3206460001/
NCAA protocol—standards of practice: https://www.ncaa.org/sport-science-institute/resocialization-collegiate-sport-developing-standards-practice-and-competition
MSN article re: New York Yankees coaching staff reinfections: https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/seven-yankees-coaches-and-staffers-test-positive-for-covid-19-after-being-vaccinated/ar-BB1gHOja