MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The cold and flu season has officially begun, and one company says it has the newest tool to protect you and your family since hand sanitizer.

It’s called the Pocket Purifier, and it uses ultraviolet light to kill germs.

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Purely Products, the purifier’s maker, said the purifier uses a 4-watt ultraviolet light that kills more than 99 percent of germs in just 15 seconds on most surfaces.

Presely Martin, the biology department chair at Hamline University, said that the ultraviolet light kills germs and and it’s used to do so all the time.

Although Martin can’t speak as to how well the Pocket Purifier works, considering he doesn’t know its technical makeup, he says the theory behind the product is proven.

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“So the way the UV light effects the bacteria is by actually causing chemical changes to occur in the DNA,” Martin said. “Those can cause mutations, but if there’s enough of those chemical changes, it will cause the bacteria to die.”

This germ-killing method is used by both professionals in hospitals and laboratories. And Hamline University students even study the effects of ultraviolet light on germs. (In the video above, you can see the effects of ultraviolet light on germs.)

However, the purifier is no toy. Martin advises parents to monitor their children while using it.

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The Pocket Purifier costs $19.99 and is available on multiple websites, including Bed, Bath and Beyond.