By Paula Ebben

BOSTON (CBS) – Keeping kids engaged and safe is a big part of the mission at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston.

During the coronavirus pandemic, keeping everything in the classroom germ-free is an added challenge for instructors.

“I’m currently, right now, trying to run a Dungeons and Dragons game, and right afterwards I have to sanitize seven sets of dice that have seven die in them each,” explained Boys and Girls Club classroom leader and technology instructor Michael Cummings.

But a recent donation from a local company called Sensesafe aims to solve that slowdown.

Wil Catlin is the founder of Sensesafe, a Boston-based company that sells machines that monitor invisible threats in the home like radon, mold and carbon monoxide. Recently, the company began importing toaster-sized devices that use UV-C light to kill germs. Catlin donated 80 of the sterilizers to the Boys and Girls Club of Boston.

“The idea is to kill the infectious components on something like this,” he said holding up a face mask and then reaching inside his pocket for his phone.

The kids use the device to sanitize everything from phones, to remote controls, and magic markers. According to Catlin, it’s safe for just about anything that fits inside.

Josh Kraft, the Boys and Girls Club President and CEO, said he jumped at the opportunity to provide the sterilizers at the clubs.

“It impacts our ability to make kids feel safe and at ease, and that’s our number one job, pandemic or no pandemic,” Kraft said.

On its website, the FDA says the technology has been shown to destroy other coronaviruses, but there is limited data on how it works on COVID-19. Similar technology was used in a pilot program to disinfect New York City subways. JetBlue Airlines also studied a UV light sanitizer to disinfect its jets.

Cummings says he is happy to have something to cut down on the time it takes to wipe everything down, even all those dice from the Dungeons and Dragons game.

“This seems like it will cut that process down exponentially. I’m excited and it lights up blue; it’s cool.”

Paula Ebben

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