Effectiveness of UV Sterilisation Chambers in Barbering Shops and Salons

Sowah, Richard Addo, Ahiabor, Charity


The use of ultraviolet (UV) sterilisation chambers gained popularity in salons, spa and other beauty establishments as the popular method for sterilising barbering equipment. This is as a result of increasing awareness of infection transfer from the use of barbering implements. Due to the cost of these sterilisation chambers, most barbering shops resort to buying “Home used” UV sterilisation chambers. In this study, the effectiveness of these sterilisation chambers against microbes that cause skin infections was assessed. A random sample of 50 barbering shops using these boxes were analysed for microbial colonies or counts, type of UV lamps used, ages of sterilisation chambers and general condition of the sterilisation chambers in the North Kaneshie Municipality, a suburb of Accra, Ghana. In all, 70 sterilisation chambers were analysed. They had a wavelength in the range: 254-365 nm wavelength, Wattage 10 W, Intensity ranging between 760/720 µW/cm2 at 3.0 in (76.2 mm), Voltage 240 V, 50 Hz and Dimensions of 7.5 in x 2.6 in x 2.0 in. The plate counts of swaps from shaving clippers, combs and brushes were performed for microbial colonies before and after UV sterilisation. In this research, Age of the effective sterilisation chamber correlated with UV lamp intensity (r = - 0.32), with a coefficient of determination of 0.10. That is, in 10 % of chambers, Age had no effect on the intensity of the lamps, hence the effectiveness of the chamber. A correlation of r = 0.65 was obtained between Age of chamber with percentage change in colony count, and coefficient of determination of 0.42. This implies that, of the twenty chambers that inhibited microbial growth about 42 % of the chambers had significant effects while the remaining had minimal effects. More than 90 % of these effective chambers showed increased lamp wattage with increased intensity. It was observed that 50 of the chambers were defective, out of which 74 % were without lamps while 26 % of the defective chambers were not fitted with prescribed lamps or had lamps that needed to be replaced. Spraying alcoholic formulation on the clippers and combs before UV sterilisation and washing of combs with soap and warm water were observed. Sterilisation carried out after using the implements for a number of customers was documented. Sterilisation practices in the barbering salons and shops sampled were not satisfactory owing to the observation where 50 of the sampled sterilizers did not inhibit microbial growth. Cleaning is sometimes carried out simply by wiping the teeth of the clippers with dry foam material. A general lack of practical knowledge about decontamination procedures were observed. Also, there is lack of stick control measures and monitoring by relevant bodies.

KEYWORDS: Intensity, Plate count, Sterilisation, Wavelength.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3186 ISSN (Online)2225-0921

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