About Ultraviolet Light Decontamination
Using ultraviolet light to destroy micro-organisms is a well established concept. In fact, the 1903 Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded to Niels Finsen (a Danish physician and scientist) for his use of ultraviolet (UV) light against tuberculosis.
Air and water purification remain the primary applications of ultraviolet light decontamination, yet recent advances in technology have positioned it as an attractive option for decontaminating surfaces and a wide array of electronic equipment and medical devices.
The UV electromagnetic spectrum is subdivided into three distinct bands – A, B and C. The sun emits ultraviolet in all three bands. UV A & B are able to penetrate the ozone layer. By contrast, UVC, which is the portion of the spectrum with the highest energy is filtered out and so none of it reaches the earth's surface. As a result, bacteria, viruses and other micro-organic life have not built up a resistance to UVC.
When targeted micro-organisms are directly exposed to UVC light, the radiation penetrates the cell walls. The energy resonates and breaks the molecular bonds within the micro-organismal DNA, thereby rendering them harmless through prohibiting growth and reproduction.
The peak efficiency for microorganism decontamination is achieved when the UVC light is produced at a wavelength of 254 nanometres and hence all UVC decontamination systems aim to artificially produce light at this peak.