As cases of COVID surge and the nation throws itself into another mound of hysteria, people clamor to find solutions to the problem of sterilizing workplaces. The need for businesses to stay open during the pandemic is at its height, so what can companies do?
UV sterilization may provide the long-awaited answer. If your business is struggling to find ways to disinfect within its walls and you want to keep it virus-free, you need a process like UV sterilization to do the trick.
Read on to discover the many benefits of UV sterilization and how it works to keep your business COVID-free.
UV Sterilization History
UV sterilization techniques have been around since the 1950s. But advances in the UV light bulbs have only recently made them viable methods for disinfecting large areas. With their reliability and smaller size, UV light bulbs broadened the UV sterilization field.
Now you can use UV sterilization techniques for water, air, fruits, vegetables, surgical utensils, tablet computers, toys, and various surfaces.
Types of UV Sterilizers Matter
Not all types of UV sterilization are created equal. To understand this, you first have to understand how UV light pertains to the electromagnetic spectrum. “UV” stands for ultraviolet, or beyond-violet.
It refers to the range of electromagnetic waves with shorter wavelengths than visible light. Within this light range, UV divides into three main subgroups: UVA, UVB, and UVC.
UVC is the only type of ultraviolet light capable of sterilization. UVC’s wavelength is between 100-280 nm and, thus, has a high enough energy to kill microbes. When you choose a UV sterilization product, make sure it is UVC for the best results.
What Can UV Kill?
The short answer is that UV can kill most anything. UVC at 254 nm can kill all types of foodborne pathogens, natural microbial, molds, and yeasts. But UVC doesn’t kill all organisms at the same time.
Microorganisms absorb UV light at different rates. So if you’re trying to kill foodborne illness, it might take a longer time than killing COVID.
How Does UV Kill?
UV sterilization breaks down the chemical bonds and DNA of harmful microorganisms. By damaging the DNA, RNA, and other proteins necessary for reproduction, UV stifles viral and bacterial growth. Viruses are considered dead when they no longer reproduce within their hosts.
But how much time does it take for UV sterilization to “kill?” Since UV sterilization destroys bacteria and viruses with energy, how long it takes microorganisms to die depends on exposure time, among other factors.
In other words, the longer you apply UV, the more damage microbes sustain. How quickly you kill bacteria also depends on the proximity to UV light. UV kills germs faster when its closer.
If you hold a UVC lamp an inch above a petri dish filled with salmonella, you’ll kill it much faster than if it’s hanging from the ceiling.
UV doses measure the efficacy of the UV sterilization. UV doses take a few factors into account. In UV water purification, transmittance measures the amount of light reaching the target. Flow rate measures how fast the water flows through the system. Turbidity is how cloudy or clear the water.
When the water has high turbidity, the light cannot reach its source. When the water has low turbidity, the UV can reach the target more quickly.
Lamp age also plays a factor in how UV sterilization works. Over time, UV lamps’ intensity decreases and is not as effective as new lamps.
UV Sterilization Pros and Cons
The best aspect of UV sterilization is that it’s easy to use and doesn’t cause unfortunate messes. Without any chemical compounds, UV sterilization doesn’t leave any pesky residue.
The next best benefit to using a UV sterilization lamp is that it kills bacteria that most other chemical compounds can’t. Drug-resistant bacteria doesn’t stand a chance against UV sterilization.
To receive the full benefits of UV sterilization, make sure no objects block the UV’s path to the surface you’re trying to clean. The best way to avoid objects blocking UV rays is to use multiple lamps.
Using multiple lamps gives you access to different angles, so the surface has full UV coverage.
There aren’t many drawbacks to using UV sterilization. The one exception to this is that because UV destroys DNA/RNA, UV sterilization isn’t easy to apply in biomedical facilities.
UV sterilization causes much damage to viruses’ surface proteins. Biomedical products use a UV inactivation method to preserve valuable proteins while disabling the virus.
The other drawback to UV sterilization is that you can’t expose yourself to the harmful rays. You must avoid direct contact with UV lamps. Be especially careful protecting your eyes and skin.
The best aspect of UV sterilization is its utility. UV sterilization works on counters, hotel sheets, shoes, and anything else you can name.
UV Sterilization and COVID
Because we live in such trying times when cleanliness is of the utmost importance, it’s essential to have a clean kitchen, clean bedroom, and clean overall house. UV can be effective against COVID, but it’s vital to be careful while using the method.
Wearing a mask is a good start. But applying UV sterilization after cooking, coming home from work, or before you go to bed can be the difference between getting infected and not. This UVC wand is great for sterilizing electronic devices, bedding, countertops, and much more.
Stay safe out there and try UV sterilization. You’ll thank yourself later.
Get Your UV Sterilization System Today
The benefits of UV sterilization far outweigh the cons, and overall, these devices make cleaning life easier for you. If you’re interested in UV bulbs as it relates to your home’s air or a portable UV wand, we have you covered. Stay clean and stay safe!