How Sharing Head-Worn and Hand-Held Devices Can Spread Disease and What to Do About it

July 1, 2022

Workplaces of all kinds are breeding grounds for illnesses. Whenever many people congregate indoors, there is an increased risk of infection and transmission. Naturally, business owners and managers want to mitigate this risk to avoid downtime and lost productivity due to staff calling in sick. Having a secure environment is a great way to retain talent and attract health-conscious workers to the company. By implementing handheld device sanitization systems, it’s possible to reduce the spread of disease.

Shared handheld devices pose particular problems that require specific solutions. Any time devices are shared between multiple users, the risk of spreading disease in the workplace rises. Hospital-grade sterilization solutions like Cleanbox can eliminate the risks posed by shared devices.

How Shared Handheld Devices Can Spread Disease and What to Do About It

How Diseases Spread in the Workplace

The route of transmission of every illness is different. Many viruses and bacteria are spread through droplets expelled from the mouth or nose. This is most common for respiratory illnesses, including the common cold. Although these droplets have the highest potential for infection when they land on another person’s mouth or nose, they can still contaminate surfaces. A sneeze can launch thousands of micro droplets, which will land on desks and shared equipment like keyboards or computer mice.

If someone comes into contact with a contaminated surface and then introduces these tiny droplets into their nose or mouth, they can easily become infected themselves. COVID-19 was found to be highly stable on surfaces, leaving them unsafe for several hours after exposure to the virus.

Shared Devices Increases Risk

Any item that changes hands often is a vector for disease transmission. That is why so many public health officials were concerned about common surfaces, like handrails on escalators or handlebars on buses and trains. The more people come into contact with a single surface, the greater the risk. In the workplace, many companies have shared devices that could become the source of multiple infections. For example, POS devices like barcode scanners or credit card processors are common risk points.

Similarly, other handheld devices like tablets or office phones can easily spread infections around the office. Phones, for instance, are kept very close to workers’ mouths, which increases the risk of disease transmission. Tablets encourage lots of physical contact, which will leave trace amounts of virus or bacteria on the user’s fingers. From there, all it takes is a nervous nail biter or a few eye rubs to introduce contagions into the body and start a new infection.

Schools Have the Highest Risk

Schools have perhaps the highest risk when it comes to shared devices. Since few schools can afford a device for each student, they typically rely on shared devices on carts. A cart full of tablets or chromebooks could easily transmit a virus across multiple classrooms. Considering that children rarely follow proper hygiene protocols, having a reliable handheld device sanitization method is vital. As the average age of teachers continues to rise, protecting them is essential to keeping schools running.

It’s not just technology that causes widespread transmission in schools. Even seemingly innocuous items like books from the library or science lab equipment can become a pathway to disease. Any object that is routinely handled by multiple people needs to be consistently kept clean. However, school administrators and teachers cannot expect children, or even adolescents, to follow protocol perfectly. Even teachers, with their busy schedules, are unlikely to follow protocols to the letter. A fool-proof sterilization system is a must.

Handheld Device Sanitization Solutions

Businesses of all kinds need a reliable method of handheld device sanitization. Unfortunately, many organizations make the wrong choice. Spending large sums on cleaning wipes and harsh chemicals only creates a false sense of security. Modern problems require modern solutions. A UVC-based sanitization solution is much more reliable.

Consider some of the less effective sanitization methods and alternatives that actually work. When deciding how to keep the workplace safe, choose a method that won’t fail.  

What Doesn’t Work

Most organizations splurged on sanitizing wipes after COVID-19. This approach simply does not work. Although wipes may claim to eradicate 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, they’re only as effective as the user. If the user misses a spot while wiping a device, then they haven’t really eliminated the risk of infection. Furthermore, no two people wipe the same way. One person may vigorously wipe down a device while another may give it little more than a passing swipe.

In addition, wipes have trouble cleaning irregular surfaces. For instance, a device like a barcode scanner is much harder to clean properly with wipes. There are nooks and crannies that likely won’t get sterilized by using wipes. Even if workers could robotically use wipes to perfection, wipes are wasteful and add an item to the company budget in perpetuity. They also take longer to use than more advanced solutions. There is a better way to keep the workplace clean.

What Always Works

The best handheld device sanitization method doesn’t call for direct contact with the device at all. Instead of trying to wipe down every square inch of surface area, UVC light blankets the device and sterilizes it perfectly. UVC LEDs can produce powerful light at a very specific wavelength. Numerous scientific studies have identified the perfect wavelength for killing RNA, which is the genetic code that allows viruses and bacteria to replicate. This wavelength won’t damage the device, either.

CleanBox gives organizations a reliable UVC-based sanitization solution. Best of all, using UVC delivers a consistent result every time. Within 60 seconds, almost any device can be sanitized. If it fits in the box, it’ll come out clean! With CleanBox installed, disinfecting shared devices becomes easy. Even children can use CleanBox with its simple 4-step process. Just open, load, press the button, and retrieve the device after a minute.

Other Advantages of UVC LED Sanitization

There are other reasons to consider switching to a UVC-based solution like CleanBox. Over time, a UVC-LED sanitization method saves money. Rather than spend hundreds of dollars on wipes every month, many of which will just be wasted, a single CleanBox can last for many years and sterilize a nearly infinite number of items. LEDs can last up to a decade, depending on use. This means less money spent on sterilization in the long run.

Versatility is another important factor. Devices like the OmniClean can sterilize anything that fits into the box. There are also boxes designed for specific applications, such as the CX series, which clean headsets primarily. Regardless of what goes in the box, it’ll be sterilized to 99.999% efficiency thanks to the power of UVC.

CleanBox: The Best Solution

When organizations need widescale sanitization solutions, they turn to CleanBox. The CX and OmniClean have proven their utility in a variety of sectors, from hospitals to schools to call centers and everyday offices. There is no substitute for the best technology available.

Contact CleanBox to speak to a product specialist and learn more about our handheld device sanitization solutions, or visit our website to download the CleanBox white paper and learn more about how UVC-LED sanitization can provide unparalleled security.

About Cleanbox Technology:
Founded in 2018, Nashville, TN-based Cleanbox Technology, Inc. is a smart tech hygiene company specializing in the fast, effective cleaning of shared devices. Cleanbox’s patented products use UVC light in LEDs, providing safe, hospital-level decontamination in 60-seconds, without the need for chemicals, heat, or liquids. Cleanbox products are designed for cleaning shared devices, including head-mounted displays (HMDs), headsets, earphones, eyewear, stethoscopes, and other frequently used items. Cleanbox products have been independently tested and proven to kill 99.999% of contagions in 60-seconds. For more information, visit  Cleanbox is used by 2,000+ enterprise clients globally across a wide range of industries, including Education, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Automotive, Transportation, Retail, Government, and DOD. Cleanbox is a Woman-Owned Small Business with the GSA.


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