Friday, May 9th, 2008
Pipila: Zapping Pacifier Germs in Three Fashion Colors
Pipila is Australia’s entry into the emerging UVC baby gear market. The what? Oh yeah, germs are big business. UVC is a type of ultraviolet light known as "germicidal light." It disrupts the cellular DNA of microorganisms, and that’s really not much fun for a microorganism.
Pipila is billed as "the world’s first purpose built portable pacifier steriliser."
I seem to recall profiling a slightly larger, yet still portable Canadian-made portable sanitizer found on the market last year, but maybe it wasn’t "purpose built."
But, no matter. Let’s take a look. This one is much smaller and prettier.
The device’s operation is cut and dry. Pop two AAA batteries into the compact (3.5"x3.5") unit. Place any style or size pacifier into the Pipila and turn it on. A light activates and then you wait 6 minutes. Presto change-o, up to 99.9 percent of germs have been killed.
When we talk about UVC’s bug-killing power, there’s always that pesky "up to" phrase attached because kill rates can vary. This device comes tested by the National Association of Testing Authorities, the government-endorsed national laboratory in Australia.
Pipila will be sold in blue, pink (looks red to me) or lime for a suggested retail price of $29.99 AUD (about $28 USD at today’s exchange rate).
This gadget is brand spanking new, going on the Australian market in the next couple months. I wriggled out of a Pipila rep that overseas sales, including sales in America, could happen that soon, too. Negotiations are ongoing with a US distributor.
Of some concern may be that the Pipila is composed of ABS and polycarbonate plastic, according to specifications listed on the Australian International Design Awards website. Polycarbonate is the plastic associated with Bisphenol-A that is increasingly under fire for potential health issues.
The unsettling thought that bothers me about killing bugs with UVC is that they don’t blow away in a puff of smoke. If you zap the bugs and then stick the pacifier in your baby’s mouth, your baby is sucking on microorganism corpses. Yummy.
I prefer thinking, pretending, believing that running a pacifier under tap water flushes away the baddies. And if we drop a pacifier while away from home, well, that’s why we pack a back-up pacifier.
See related: Review of the Halo UVX germ-killing vacuum cleaner