Everyone’s looking forward to a fresh start this year, but 2020 sure left us mulling over ideal hygienic lifestyle choices. Let’s see how UV light as disinfectant booms the market in 2021.
The virus had us all on edge in 2020, with bottles of sanitizer, masks, and tons of other protective gear around us at all times. The critical realization of how a healthy lifestyle can prevent unfortunate events like these is definitely something we are taking forward with us. But, the pandemic is not entirely over yet; instead, it’s time to be more careful as everything is slowly returning to normal.
As the demand for all types of cleaning equipment continues to soar, so is the need to make them smart and convenient. The CES 2021 was virtual this year but geared us with the latest technology and devices designed to provide better protection from the virus. Since disinfection is one of the most important and convenient ways to fight the virus, the latest UV rays disinfecting technologies aced it all. But, why ultraviolet radiation and are they effective? Let’s find out.
What Is Ultraviolet (UV) Light?
Ultraviolet is a type of electromagnetic radiation like radio waves, falling in the EM spectrum range between X-rays and visible light. These are naturally present in the sunlight (almost 10% of total electromagnetic radiation) and are emitted continuously. The ozone layer mostly blocks the high-energy UV rays reaching the earth’s atmosphere because when a living being absorbs UV, it damages its DNA molecules, skin, and eyes.
There are three types of UV rays – UVA rays (near UV), UVB rays (middle UV), and UVC rays (far UV). The UVA has the longest wavelength, followed by UVB and UVC with much shorter wavelengths.
It’s important to note here that out of the three, only UVC has useful germicidal properties. There are not enough studies to suggest if you can use UVA and UVB rays as a disinfectant. But, since most of the high wavelength UV rays are blocked, artificial UVC lights are the only option. Some of the UVC light examples include mercury lamps and UVC LEDs.
How Does It Work?
UV light effectively fights microorganisms like viruses, bacterias, etc., by altering their DNA (breaking down the nucleic acids) to make them inactive and incapable of reproducing. They keep the space healthy and safe in the long term by ensuring that the virus doesn’t multiply. You can use it as a disinfectant, and it has wide usage in industries like food preparation, medical facilities, and wastewater treatment plants since it demolishes chemical contaminants.
Ease With Electronics
The trickiest things to disinfect are electronics, especially those frequently touched, like keyboards, smartphones, etc., as they are always at the risk of damage due to the liquid/chemical-based cleaning. Therefore, using a UV light for the task assures you of the quality of your device and safety at the same time.
Using UV light as an alternative is very economical as it has very low energy costs. Since they use lenses with no maintenance cost whatsoever, they become an ideal one-time investment.
Easy To Use
It is easy, quick, and safe to use a UV light and equally effortless maintaining it.
Environment-Friendly And Non-Toxic
Since UV only uses energy at the source, there are no intermediate charges and waste. Chemical-based cleaning devices are harmful to the environment and tend to leave a toxic layer of chemicals over. No such concerns of poisoning or using harsh substances exist in UV.
Areas Of Usage
Since using UV doesn’t have to be restricted to a device or a machine, it finds usage in various sectors worldwide. You can choose a UV system for a room or a particular enclosed space if you do not wish to carry a portable one around. Once you install the device, the system barely needs assistance or managing while covering minimal storage space.
Public spaces like gyms, hospitals, supermarkets, schools, etc., require a great deal of care and safety tech to ensure the virus doesn’t spread. UV systems are an excellent choice as they destroy not only pathogens, bacterias, and other microorganisms but also superbugs, which are unaffected by antibiotics. They decontaminate larger areas, disinfecting surfaces of all kinds, and act as an air-purifying system as well.
Is It Safe?
While moderate exposure to natural UV rays like UVA and UVB is healthy, a larger span of exposure most certainly harms your overall health. It causes several sorts of cancers in humans while also making you age quicker with issues like wrinkles, sunburns, discoloration of the skin, etc.
For an effective germicidal effect on the microorganisms, the close proximity of UVC light is essential. LEDs function exponentially, meaning the farther away the LED is from the surface, the lower its effect is, as minimal UV rays fall over the subject in such a case. Therefore, making the whole process quite tricky. But, scientists are working towards what is known as ‘far-UVC light,’ which, apart from being safe for human exposure, is also much more effective and safer.
The current UV treatment requires empty spaces, but hopefully, the advancement in the near future will make UV usage in public spaces safer.
UV Disinfection Devices
There are several UV devices available in the market today, some of which are – Handheld UV Disinfection Lamp, Targus UV-C LED Disinfection Light, Lux UVC, etc. You can choose a fitting device as per your needs from a variety of options, keeping in mind the safety measures and area of usage.
The UV light treatment is bound to see a boom in the tech market shortly. It is convenient and eco-friendly, making it a better alternative than the rest of the disinfecting equipment in its league. Despite the drawbacks of using a UV treatment, it can’t be disregarded as a potential multi-purpose cleaning tech of 2021. It will be interesting to see how the UV revolutionizes sanitation the way we know it. 2021 is already getting better, and we can’t wait for more.