You may be seeing a lot of about UV light in the news, but the question is, is UV light an effective way to kill viruses?

UV-Direct UV-C Lamp showing the polished aluminum that allows for thorough disinfection

The UV-Direct UV-C Lamp from Heating Green

First of all we need to talk about the different forms of UV light. UV or Ultraviolet is a spectrum within the broader spectrum of light. It’s not visible but some UV lights do give off a blueish light because they also produce some wavelengths that fall into the visible spectrum. UV light falls into 3 general ranges UVA, UVB, and UVC.

  • UV-A has tanning properties;
  • UV-B has therapeutic and vitamin “D” synthesizing properties;
  • UV-C has germicidal properties.

The UV light we are talking about using for killing viruses is “UV-C”.

How does it work?

how UV kills a virus

While UVC light has the least amount of penetration of all the UV lights it is able to penetrate cell walls and disrupt the structure of a viruses’s DNA. This prohibit’s the viruses ability to reproduce making it incapable of causing infections.

If order for this process this to work it takes a high powered UVC lamp. Most off the shelf UVC products aren’t capable of reaching the power level needed to do this or are only effective at very short range. Heating Green’s partner Light Progress has installed UVC disinfection systems across the globe.

Is it dangerous?

Yes, people should not be exposed to UVC light. It effectively causes sun burns in seconds and can damage eyesight. This is why it is important to work with experts that know all the risks involved and can work with you and your facility to make sure you have taken into considering all the factors. There a number of products and options that can greatly reduce the likelihood of UVC expose such as where the lamps are mounted, shrouds, fans, timers, and motion sensors.

For more information:
https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200327-can-you-kill-coronavirus-with-uv-light
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016609340400179X