Misconceptions, and the Need for UV-C Validation.

In partnership with Intellego Technologies


Technology is always evolving, and UV-C disinfection is still considered a new technology for facility maintenance teams to use to add another layer of safety and utilize AI and automation to free up worker FTE hours to focus on other critical tasks. There are many misconceptions on UV-C disinfection, and this article will help provide clarity for both facilities that are new to using UV-C or are thinking about adding it to their maintenance protocols.

Misconceptions about UV-C disinfection:

  • You don’t need to clean when you use UV-C disinfection.
    • Although UV-C disinfection can reduce the need to use heavier disinfection cleaning agents, disinfection teams still need to physically clean surfaces as part of their disinfection workflow. UV-C disinfection is an added layer to your workflow, not a replacement for cleaning surfaces.
  • UV-C light kills everything.
    • UV-C light does not kill pathogens. On exposure, UV-C light penetrates through the cell wall and disrupts the structure of DNA/RNA molecules, prohibiting reproduction. Thus, inactivating its ability to replicate, spread, and cause harm.
  • UV-C light is harmful to look at behind glass.
    • 254nm UV-C light does not penetrates glass or plexiglass, and is safe to look at it perform disinfection while standing behind glass or plexiglass. 
  • UV-C light bulbs are harmful if damaged.
    • All 254nm UV-C lamps have some mercury and need to be properly disposed. 
    • However, ADIBOT 254nm UV-C lamps are ozone free, shatterproof, and encased in protective iodinated quartz.   

The UV spectrum explained.

  • Difference between UV-C, UV-A and UV-B:
    • UV-A is radiation that is in the region of the ultraviolet spectrum which is nearest to visible light and extends from about 320 to 400 nm in wavelength and that causes tanning and contributes to aging of the skin.
    • UV-B is radiation that is in the region of the ultraviolet spectrum which extends from about 280 to 320 nm in wavelength and is primarily responsible for sunburn, aging of skin, and the development of skin cancer.
    • UV-C is radiation that is in the region of the ultraviolet spectrum which extends from about 200 to 280 nm in wavelength and is more hazerdous than UV-B but is mostly absorbed by earth’s upper atmosphere. 
  • 5 Critical Factors for Effective UV-C Disinfection:
    • These 5 critical factors are used to estimate millijoules dosagens for performing a UV-C disinfection of pathogens, such as C. diff, MRSA, C. auris, VRE, and other MDROs.
    • 5 Critical Factors:
      • Line of Sight – The principle limitation of UV-C germicidal irradiation is the requirement for direct exposure, or line of sight, between the UV-C light source and the target. 
      • Distance – The disinfection targets distance from the UV-C light as the source and target.
      • Time – The duration of time the target is exposed to the UV-C light source. 
      • Intensity – The measure of UV-C light energy the target is being exposed to. 
      • Target (Ex: Pathogens) – The total dosage of energy required to inactivate the target pathogen.

Why validating your UV-C with dosimeter cards is important.

  • Validates your UV-C disinfection against millijoules of dosage estimates.
  • Validates that your current workflow (disinfection points and time) is effective. 
  • Validates that your current UV-C disinfection device technology is working to solve your disinfection needs.
  • Gain a better understanding from validated results, and can make improvements where there are gaps.  

Now that you have a better understanding of common UV-C misconceptions, how UV-C light works, and why you should validate UV-C effectiveness – please follow us on LinkedIn HERE.

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