There’s no worse feeling than sliding your hand along an escalator or Subway rail and realizing the number of germs you’re picking up. While most bacteria are benign and, therefore, pose no threat to human health, the spread of microbes in some cases needs to be controlled. Because this issue is a serious one, LG Innotek and Clearwin developed a new sterilizer that claims to wipe out 99.99 percent of germs on a handrail through the process of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI). Reportedly, it’s the world’s first.

UVGI disinfects heavily-used handrails by using UV light to kill or destroy microorganisms that might pose a threat to human health. As The Verge reports, the ultraviolet germicidal irradiation targets the bacteria’s nucleic acids. This disrupts their DNA and leaves them incapable of performing cellular functions. As a result, UVGI technology can disinfect air, water, and aquariums, as well as be used in laboratories.

Said LG, “The product blocks any sources of infection from spreading by completely destroying the DNA of germs via UV LED light having a wavelength of 278 nanometers.” The company added that it is harmless to the human body and continuously disinfects the rails while the escalator is moving.

LG Innotek, hand sanitizer, Clearwin Technologies, bacteria, microbes, germs, subway, handrail, escalator,

Because the sterilizer can be easily installed on escalators, it generates its own power by converting the movement of the machine’s handrail into electricity. The sterilization lamp itself has a life of more than 10,000 hours.

Related: This revolutionary new paper battery is powered by bacteria

LG Innotek, hand sanitizer, Clearwin Technologies, bacteria, microbes, germs, subway, handrail, escalator,

So far, the UVGI has been approved by regulators from the European Union and South Korea. No cost estimate has yet been given by the company.

+ LG Innotek, Clearwin

Via The Verge

Images via LG Innotek