UV light is highly effective at killing germs The three main types of UV rays are UVA, UVB, and UVC. Because UVC rays have the shortest wavelength, and therefore highest energy, they are capable of killing bacteria and viruses, also called pathogens. UVC light has a wavelength of between 200 and 400 nanometers (nm). It is highly effective at decontamination because it destroys the molecular bonds that hold together the DNA of viruses and bacteria, including “superbugs,” which have developed a stronger resistance to antibiotics.
Powerful UVC light has been regularly used to decontaminate surgical tools and hospital rooms. A study that included 21,000 patients who stayed overnight in a room where someone had been previously treated found that sanitizing a hospital room with UV light in addition to traditional methods of cleaning cut transmission of drug-resistant bacteria by 30%. This is partly because UVC light can effectively sanitize hard-to-clean nooks and crannies. UVC light also works by destroying the DNA of pathogens, which makes it effective against “superbugs.”
However, it’s not quite as good as we might have hoped. In a recent study – which looked at whether UVC could be used to disinfect PPE – the authors found that, while it is possible to kill the virus this way, in one experiment it needed the highest exposure out of hundreds of viruses that have been looked at so far. The amount of ultraviolet required varied widely, depending on factors such as the shape and type of material the virus was on.
Nevertheless, a concentrated form of UVC is now on the front line in the fight against Covid-19. In China, whole buses are being lit up by the ghostly blue light each night, while squat, UVC-emitting robots have been cleaning floors in hospitals. Banks have even been using the light to disinfect their money.
How to use a UV light to kill germs at home UV Disinfection Lamp available to consumers come in various forms, including boxes, bottles, and covered wands. Each has its own set of instructions for how to use the light to kill germs, with specifics on things like how long the sanitation takes and, in the case of wands, how close it has to be to the object you’re trying to sanitize. Larger box-shaped versions fit tablets, toys, and baby bottles.
Why Use UV Sterilization? UV sterilization with UV sterilizer cabinet is not a new technology, having been discovered in 1879. Discovered to be a useful technology for cleaning infectious spaces, more studies were done to determine the exact beneficial nature of UV for sterilization purposes. Since the 20th century, UV sterilization has been used to disinfect things like water and work surfaces. UV light is a shorter wavelength than visible light, and is able to penetrate and destroy the bodies of viruses and bacteria.
The use of UV sterilization, or ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, has been found to be extremely effective. Sources of UV sterilization can kill over 99% of viruses, bacteria, and fungi in an extremely short amount of time. Due to this effectiveness, various types of UV treatments and specialized UV devices for sterilization have been developed. This can make it difficult to determine what kind of UV device provides the best results for your facility.
Where Can UV be Used? While UV sterilization can be used as a supplemental infection control strategy for almost any situation, such as disinfecting water and work surfaces as mentioned above, the efficiency of the sterilization make other specialized spaces accessible as well.
One of the best and fastest growing spaces for UV utilization is in hospital construction and renovation. Keeping hospital worksites from spreading pathogens to other patients is key for infection control solutions. UV sterilization techniques help provide a standard that can be hard for manual cleaning to meet. By providing a consistent procedure for disinfection, UV sterilization in hospitals is invaluable.
How Can UV be Utilized? Beyond water and surface sterilization, UV can be used as a sterilization technique for other types of disinfection. UV can disinfect the air in isolated spaces, which is particularly beneficial in a hospital setting. Installing UV devices like lamps and lights at the top of rooms and other areas of circulation can disinfect the air as it moves, improving both the air quality and the effectiveness of the UV sterilization.