Guide: Choosing the Right UV Tech for Disinfection

With the ongoing pandemic, besides taking the vaccine, you may be wondering if there are any other methods to sterilise or disinfect your surroundings. There are many methods, and UV Light Disinfection is a hot topic now, and here are the various types and the tools that adopt the respective technologies.

1. Germicidal UV Light Disinfection

Germicidal UV light is conventionally the most effective UV light disinfection method. It kills the microorganisms such as viruses, germs, and bacteria by inhibiting them from reproduction or damaging their cells. Prolonged exposure of germicidal UV light on surfaces will also help to eradicate pathogens that have been lying around for some time. 

However, this method of UV disinfection is damaging to the human body; it is commonly classified as a health hazard which may result in skin cancer and other health problems. As such, it is not commonly used on public spaces and one has to evacuate from the area if the germicidal UV light disinfection is executed. 

Example of products that uses the Germicidal UV Light disinfection technology: Wanda SD, Fresh-Aire-UV

2. Filtered Far-UVC Light Disinfection

This is by far the newest UV disinfection technology where UV light is filtered to only allow the wavelength of 207-222 nm to pass through. This far-UVC’s efficacy is as good as the standard germicidal UV light in inactivating viruses, bacteria, and germs, however, they are not as harmful and detrimental to the human body as compared to conventional UV light disinfection. This would mean that people no longer have to evacuate areas for the UV disinfection to take place. You can now safely work or carry out activities in your designated areas such as meeting rooms, offices, classrooms, retail stores, and more.

As a new technology, there are limited products in the market that taps on this. Example of products that uses the Far-UVC Light Disinfection technology: Lumenlabs Lumenizer

Lumenizer

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UV Light for Disinfection

3. UVGI

UVGI stands for ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, which taps on the short wavelengths of UV light to inactivate pathogens or kill microorganisms. It is mostly used in disinfecting air, liquid, or surfaces. The efficacy of UVGI as a disinfecting tool is highly dependent on the duration of exposure, together with the intensity and wavelength emitted. UVGI is also commonly placed in pipes of heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to help remove airborne pathogens as the air passes. As such, it is safe to be used when the space is occupied.

Example of products that uses the UVGI Disinfection technology: UVGI-SA

upper room UVGI disinfection

4. Upper Room UVGI

This is a variation of UVGI, where it is commonly placed in high-ceiling communal indoor spaces such as corridors, schools, halls, or wards. Instead of being mounted in HVAC systems, it is generally placed at least seven feet above ground and all-day. This is because pathogens often move from the lower regions to the upper regions in a room, hence the Upper Room UVGI is to destroy airborne viruses that often linger around the upper regions of an enclosed area. 

Example of products that uses the Upper Room UVGI technology: UR460

5. Pulsed Xenon

This is a no-touch UV disinfection method which adopts pulsed-xenon ultraviolet light (PX-UV) to produce UVC wavelengths of 200 to 280 nm. This technology is commonly used in hospitals which requires a lot of intensive air and surface disinfection and sterilisation to eradicate pathogens like germs, bacteria, and viruses. 

Examples of products that use the Pulsed Xenon UV Light disinfection technology: PURO AIR

6. Air-handler UV-C

Typically, mould and bacteria can spread in moist areas surrounding filters, drain pans, and more. This results in reduced flow of air and efficiency of heat exchange. As such, UV-C lamps can be installed inside the various HVAC systems to help remove the microorganisms from flowing through and entering the surrounding air. Thus, this prevents virus or disease transmission in the enclosed areas.

Example of products that use the Air Handler UVC disinfection technology: TOBERO HVAC UV LIGHT, HVAC UV Light Systems – CC Series.

HVAC UV Light disinfection

References:

American Cancer Society. (n.d.) Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation. Retrieved from: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/radiation-exposure/uv-radiation.html#:~:text=In%20addition%20to%20skin%20cancer,can%20cause%20other%20health%20problems%3A&text=Exposure%20to%20UV%20rays%20can,can%20also%20cause%20eye%20problems.

Lucas, J. (2017). What Is Ultraviolet Light? Live Science. Retrieved from: https://www.livescience.com/50326-what-is-ultraviolet-light.html

Roosegaarde, S. (2021). Studio Roosegaarde’s Urban Sun Uses New Far-UVC Light To Clean Public Spaces of Up To 99.9% of Coronavirus For Safer Human Gatherings. Cision PR Newswire. Retrieved from: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/studio-roosegaardes-urban-sun-uses-new-far-uvc-light-to-clean-public-spaces-of-up-to-99-9-of-coronavirus-for-safer-human-gatherings-301249030.html

Wang, J. (n.d.). Germicidal UV Light Disinfection* Technology By Design Approach. FacilitiesNet. Retrieved from: https://www.facilitiesnet.com/site/brand-feature/Germicidal-UV-Light-Disinfection-Technology-by-Design-Approach–47800