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Machine developed to disinfect shopping carts with UV light

Posted at 3:40 PM, Aug 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-25 15:40:28-04

NAMUR, Belgium — Engineers in Belgium have come up with a machine that zaps shopping carts with ultraviolet light to sanitize them.

When you go into a grocery store, you might see employees or customers wiping down shopping carts with disinfectants to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

But that might be a thing of the past, at least in Belgium.

Engineers there have created a device, still in its trial phase, that uses UV light to sanitize the trolleys.

Shoppers take a cart, wheel it into a metal box and close a door.

Ten seconds later, the door pops open and, with shoppers' hands freshly sanitized, they head off to do their shopping.

The company said it wanted to make it even simpler than a microwave.

UVC or short-wave ultraviolet light works as a disinfectant by killing or inactivating microorganisms.

The UVC power received by the cart is the equivalent of more than 2,000 suns, according to the company.

The Belgian cart zapper costs around $8,300 for the most basic model.

But designers say it will pay for itself after three months because supermarkets won't have to employ people to wipe trolleys down between customers.