Does UV light kill viruses and germs? Everyone Should Know

People have been using UV light to get rid of pathogens on surfaces for decades. Today, there are many portable and lightweight UV devices in the market. And almost all of them claim that they can kill 99.9% of viruses, bacteria, and germs. 

But, do these UV light devices work? Or is it just an alluring description to attract more sales? Such questions might make you wonder whether UV Light sterilization products are worth buying. 

The sad news is that some of these UV Light sterilization products are counterfeits. Also, some generate significantly low power, requiring you to hold them over surfaces for a very long time. However, this doesn’t mean that UV light cannot kill viruses or germs! 

Continue reading this article and see for yourself if UV light can effectively kill germs! 

But first, do you even know what UV (Ultraviolet) light is?  Let us start from there then!

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What is (Ultraviolet) UV light?

UV light refers to a radiation type that makes some surfaces glow. If you are familiar with electromagnetic radiation, then you know that they move at different frequencies and wavelengths. This results in a wide range of wavelengths that fall into seven categories. Ultra-Violet light forms one of these categories. It has less energy than gamma-rays and X-rays, but more energy than visible light or radio waves.

Types of UV light

Do you know that there are various types of Ultraviolet radiation? This classification depends on the wavelength of the radiation. There is; UVC, UVB as well as UVA radiation types. 

To help you understand this better, most sun UV rays that reach the earth is UVA. While the ozone layer absorbs most of UVC and UVB radiation. In terms of wavelength, UVC has the shortest wavelength and the highest energy. 

For that reason, UVC radiation has enough energy to destroy bonds that hold the genetic material (RNA & DNA) of bacteria and viruses together. The same energy can also damage skin, eyes, and even cause cancer. However, if this type of UV is in the right dosage, then it will effectively kill pathogens without causing these harmful effects. 

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Sources of UV light

There are different sources of Ultraviolet sources. It can come from the sun as well as man-made sources. 

  • Direct sunlight 

Most of the natural Ultraviolet light on the earth’s surface comes from direct sunlight. However, some studies indicate that only 10% of direct sunlight is Ultraviolet. While only a 1/3 of this amount reaches the earth’s surface. Furthermore, of the UV radiation that reaches the earth’s surface, 5% is UVB and 95% is UVA. 

No significant UVC from the sun reaches the surface. Why? Because water vapor, ozone, and molecular oxygen in the upper atmosphere absorb it completely. 

  • Artificial sources 

Apart from the sun, various artificial sources generate UV radiation. Some of them include; black lights, mercury vapor lamps, high-intensity discharge bulbs, germicidal lamps, curing lamps, fluorescent, tanning booths, and incandescent sources. 

The most common way of generating Ultraviolet light is by passing a current through gas like vaporized mercury. You’ll find this kind of lamp in tanning booths. Furthermore, you can use it to sanitize or disinfect surfaces.

Black lights have lamps that cause dyes and fluorescent paints to glow. Similarly, LEDs, arc lamps, and lasers produce UV light with different wavelengths for medical, research, and industrial applications.

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Where can you use UV light to kill viruses and germs?

One benefit of using UV light to kill pathogens is that it doesn’t involve the use of chemicals. This makes it one of the best options for disinfections. Besides, there are many special lamps like the Portable Folding UV Sterilization Lamp that produce UVC light. Therefore, you can use this type of lamp for sterilization and disinfection purposes. 

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Does UV light kill viruses? Today, the utilization of UVC light for sanitization is mainly limited to healthcare applications. Hospitals and other medical facilities are using it to disinfect; PPEs, surfaces, medical equipment, and operating rooms.

Disadvantages of using UVC light to kill pathogens 

For UVC light to kill pathogens effectively, it has to be in direct contact with them. Therefore, if the surfaces have dust particles or even a shadow, UV light coronavirus, it will not kill germs effectively. That’s is one limitation of using UV light for sanitization purposes. 

Other demerits of using UV light to kill pathogens at your home are; 

  • UVC light tends to damage your eyes or skin, especially if it’s not in the right proportions. 
  • Exposing UVC light to materials like polymers, plastics, and textiles for a long time can degrade them. 
  • Some lamps that produce UVC emit ozone or contain mercury. Such chemicals tend to be very harmful to people and pets. 
  • Most UV lamps designed for home applications have lower intensity. For that reason, they a lot of time destroying pathogens. 

If you want a UV light lamp that will help you to avoid most of these problems, try out the Portable Folding UV Sterilization Lamp. This device is one of the safest options for sterilization since it doesn’t penetrate the outer layers of your eyes or skin.

Conclusion

UVC light is the most effective type of Ultraviolet radiation at killing pathogens like bacteria and viruses. For this reason, many healthcare facilities are using it for disinfection purposes. However, this does not mean that you cannot use it to sterilize surfaces and devices in your home. 

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There are many UV light lamps for killing germs in a home setting. One such lamp is the UV light sterilizer. This device emits UV light that will help you to kill 99.9% of pathogens on various surfaces like phones, keys, and so on. 

So, if you are still wondering whether UV light can kill viruses and germs, the answer is YES!

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