What Is Germicidal Ultraviolet-C (UVC) Light?

Published Date: 2023-06-14 12:07:34 Views: 233

Germicidal UVC light, also known as ultraviolet-C (UVC) light, is part of the electromagnetic spectrum and is classified into different categories based on wavelength. Other identifiable categories of the electromagnetic spectrum include radio waves, microwaves, infrared light, visible light, X-rays, and gamma rays. Germicidal UVC technology has been used for many years as a method of surface and air purification.

Our sun produces electromagnetic radiation, as do other celestial bodies such as stars and galaxies. Ultraviolet, on the other hand, has shorter wavelengths than visible light and is usually classified into three subcategories as follows:

  • UVA (315-400 nm)
  • UVB (280-315 nm)
  • UVC (180-280 nm)

Is germicidal UV effective?

With the correct amount of UVC exposure, germicidal UVC is a fairly effective solution for disinfection and sterilization.

Before we discuss the question of whether germicidal UVC is effective, let’s understand how it works.

The high energy wavelengths of UVB and UVC can cause mutations to form in DNA. And DNA and RNA (ribonucleic acid, made from DNA) have four building blocks called nucleotides. These nucleotides are divided into two categories – purines and pyrimidines. Purines include adenine and guanine, while pyrimidines include thymine in DNA/uracil and cytosine in RNA. UVC leads to the formation of pyrimidine dimers.

All DNA/RNA replication and processing required for the replication of an organism or virus requires the involvement of two enzymes, namely DNA polymerase and RNA polymerase. In the case of a pyrimidine dimer mutation, these enzymes do not work properly, which results in the damaged DNA/RNA not working properly either.

Although the mutagenic properties produced by UVB can cause skin cancer, the use of UVC as a germicide in buildings means that it is a very useful tool for preventing airborne infections, as it can cause germs such as viruses, bacteria, and molds to fail to replicate and spread properly.

Does UV Light Kill COVID-19?

UV light, such as UVC germicidal is an effective method of virus inactivation against COVID-19, but it must be used correctly. This means that the pathogen must be exposed to enough UVC energy for the right amount of time to be able to affect the DNA/RNA structure of the virus, thereby inactivating COVID-19, other viruses, and bacteria.

Although germicidal UVC is quite effective, its effectiveness should not be overstated. UVC germicidal lamps also have limitations in that they cannot reach all areas of the room, and there are areas that cannot be reached.