Ultraviolet cleaning technology has existed for many years but has seen a recent increase in popularity, due to the covid-19 pandemic.
Utilizing ultraviolet rays to kill germs sounds great but it can be hard to understand the ins and outs of how the process works and what its applications could be. This article aims to tell you everything you need to know about ultraviolet cleaning.
How Does It Work?
The full name for ultraviolet cleaning is ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI). Ultraviolet light is the same thing that causes sunburn and sunburn is essentially cell damage. This is how ultraviolet cleaning works, by blasting microorganisms with short wavelengths of light which render them unable to reproduce themselves.
The ultraviolet light does this by disrupting their DNA which in turn makes them harmless. As mentioned on https://www.healthysole.com, this technique can kill up to 99% of germs and is effective against many harmful bacteria. The science behind UVGI is solid but you’re probably now wanting to know where it can be used.
Where Can UVGI Be Used?
Traditionally, ultraviolet cleaning was mainly used in hospitals or large manufacturing plants. Generally, the process was reserved for industries that required extreme cleanliness and needed something that was guaranteed to work. A prime example of this would be the cleaning of surgical instruments in a hospital.
More recently, however, the technology has become more widespread as people have become more focused on hygiene due to the covid-19 pandemic. The benefits of UVGI, overhand washing, or chemical sanitizers, are that it is completely dry and also very reliable.
The short answer is, yes, ultraviolet cleaning does kill coronavirus. UVGI is capable of killing many different types of viral organisms and covid-19 is included in that. The practicality of implementing a system that either cleans surfaces in a business or people as they walk through the door is complicated and very expensive.
There is also an issue of range and the strength of the UV light. Long-term exposure to strong UV light will damage your skin cells in the same way that it will kill viruses. A balance is achievable, between effectiveness and safe usage, and some businesses have implemented ‘UV portals’ which customers are required to step through before entering.
As this is an effective and reliable way of removing germs, not only from the skin but also from clothing, these could become more popular as a way to combat the covid-19 pandemic.
Can You Get A Portable Version?
So, all this sounds great, but you’re thinking – how can I use this technology myself? Well, thankfully there are new products available that provide ultraviolet cleaning in a portable wand-type device. These can be used to clean surfaces in your home or even your hands.
It is vitally important that you buy from a reputable brand that can assure you of the safety of the product. These wands could be a good alternative to using disinfectant if you want to be extra sure that you and your surfaces are clean and free of germs.
Is Ultraviolet Cleaning Safe?
Like most things, answering this question depends on quantity. Sunlight is considered to be generally good for you and exposure to it has many health benefits. However, overexposure to the sun with no protection on your skin will cause you to burn and the long-term effects of this could be that you get skin cancer.
UV light is present in sunlight and is part of what gives your body vitamin D. The amount of exposure you put yourself under will determine how safe ultraviolet cleaning is for you. Using it to clean your hands a couple of times a day for a short period of time, might be fine.
Using it to clean your hands every ten minutes for a long period of time might not be okay. All devices should have an accompanying safety booklet that explains exposure times so please make sure you read these thoroughly before using them.
Is Ultraviolet Cleaning The Future?
Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation has been used for many years and is proven to be effective in killing potentially harmful viruses. Now that the demand for reliable and effective ways of cleaning surfaces has skyrocketed, due to the covid-19 pandemic, this technology has become more available to the average consumer.
On the whole, it seems like the rewards outweigh the risks, as long as you stay within the safe levels of exposure for you and others. The idea of being able to walk into a venue and be cleaned on entry, without any liquid or chemicals is definitely appealing. Ultraviolet cleaning could be the future of cleanliness.