Government departments using virtual and augmented reality training have become more common in the last few years. However, during this same time, public awareness about the easy spread of contagious diseases has also risen. This is one of many reasons why government training programs may be interested in using UV cleaner boxes, which can reduce contamination risks in government training facilities.
Reducing Contamination Risks in Government VR/AR Training Facilities
Government training facilities may use VR and AR technology for several reasons. For example, civilian sector government workers, the Department of Defense, and other government entities may use virtual reality and augmented reality to train employees and contractors for various roles. However, for all the benefits of using advanced technology to streamline training, there’s a significant risk of spreading contagion when this technology is used.
Significant Infectious Risks of VR/AR Headsets
Germs are found on most surfaces, particularly skin, soft material, and plastic. Germs usually live on surfaces from about one day to six months, depending on the specific strain of bacteria or virus and the nature of the material the pathogen sits on. The specific risks associated with virtual reality and augmented reality headsets are related to the easy spread of contagion through the eye and skin pathways. The main infectious risks of using these headsets include:
Conjunctivitis or pink eye is a highly contagious condition that easily spreads from person to person through ocular mucous membranes. VR/AR headsets sit on the face around the eye, meaning the risk of spreading conjunctivitis from the close contact of shared devices is high. The symptoms of conjunctivitis can appear within one to three days after exposure to bacterial infections, and within one week for viral infections.
Preventing the spread of COVID-19 is at the forefront of many training facilities, particularly since research shows that viral particles can live on surfaces for several days. Although COVID-19 is largely spread through the air, there are cases of infection from viral particles entering ocular tissue. The risk of COVID-19 transmission through the eye means decontamination is a top priority for training facilities.
Staph infections are borne from some of the most common bacteria found on the skin. Staph infections often resemble rashes that can quickly become infected without treatment. The spread of serious staph infections is more likely with shared electronics that sit on the face. Staph infection on the eyelid can last for several weeks and can potentially impair vision.
Where to Find Germs on VR/AR Headsets
Germs can be found on most surfaces of VR/AR headsets. For example, the plastic shell, PU leather, foam padding, nose guard, and other materials used to create virtual reality and augmented reality headsets are all potential places for bacteria and viruses to live. Based on the material, these germs can live on the surface of the headset and spread from person to person for a long time.
Why Alcohol-Based Wipes Aren’t Ideal
When most government facilities decontaminate headsets, they may rely on alcohol-based wipes. Although alcohol is scientifically proven to quickly kill the vast majority of bacteria and viruses, alcohol-based wipes cannot reach into every nook and cranny on a VR headset. Furthermore, softer materials may not be ideal for decontamination with alcohol-based wipes.
Alcohol-based wipes are potential causes of material breakdown on headsets and other devices that use padding. Over time, the alcohol used in alcohol-based wipes can cause the foam to disintegrate and may cause new cracks in PU leather that will allow germs to hide deeper within the headset. The material breakdown will cause government training facilities to replace VR headsets more frequently as well.
The residual alcohol and other chemicals left on a VR/AR headset after cleaning with alcohol-based wipes may also cause skin irritation. For infectious diseases such as staph infection, skin irritation can allow viruses and bacteria to spread more easily and cause more severe infections.
How UV Cleaner Boxes Are Revolutionizing Decontamination
Fortunately, government facilities do not need to rely only on alcohol-based wipes to decontaminate surfaces and shared electronics. When it comes to removing viruses and bacteria from shared electronics, UV LED cleaner boxes are the best tool to use. UV cleaner boxes are revolutionizing the way electronic devices are decontaminated, including devices such as virtual reality headsets, mobile phones, earphones, tablets, and much more.
The Germicidal Effects of Light
The earliest records of the germicidal effects of life date back 140 years when scientists first noted the antibacterial effect of sun exposure. The light wavelengths in the UV light spectrum can neutralize or kill bacteria. The germicidal effect of light can be used on virtually all surfaces, particularly hard surfaces and hard-to-reach areas.
Using germicidal light to decontaminate surfaces can kill up to 99.999% of bacteria and viruses. Furthermore, these microbial cells are killed quickly and will not develop a resistance to UV exposure. Science has also shown that UV LED light exposure can also kill mold, fungus, and certain types of hard-to-destroy viruses.
Destroying DNA and RNA
One of the key advantages of using UV LED technology is that UV light uses electromagnetic energy that can specifically destroy the DNA and RNA molecules of bacteria and viruses. Not only does this prevent the bacteria and viruses from replicating and spreading, but it also destroys the ability of these microorganisms to mutate.
For decontaminating services, destroying DNA and RNA molecules is a top priority, especially if government training facilities are invested in preventing the spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19.
The Decontamination Process
The decontamination process using UV LED light is very simple. This process can be completed in as little as 60 seconds for electronic devices. The protocol for decontamination allows each device to be cleaned before use.
The procedure will include selecting the VR headset, adding the VR headset to the UV cleaner box, selecting the cleaning cycle on the clean box, and safely using the headset within 60 seconds after the clean cycle has finished. This protocol can be easily integrated into the basic training procedures at any government training facility.
The Most Effective Cleaner Boxes
In particular, the CX Series is designed specifically for head-mounted displays, which include virtual reality headsets, broadcaster headsets, earphones, headphones, and other devices. The CX Series is made in a variety of sizes and configurations to allow facilities to clean multiple surfaces at one time.
The OmniClean box is another product that can be used at a government training facility. This clean box provides 360° UTC cleaning coverage with a rotating quartz plate and reflective surfaces to decontaminate any object in the unit. This is an ideal clean box for tablets, microphones, mics, eyeglasses, and much more.
Preventing the spread of infectious diseases at government training facilities is essential. UV LED cleaning boxes can decontaminate VR/AR headsets in 60 seconds and are much more effective than alcohol-based wipes. For more information about government use of UV cleaner boxes, contact Cleanbox.