UV radiation has traditionally been used to sterilize water, surfaces, and the air. You might be wondering if this technology helps against airborne germs or just enhances your home’s air quality in general. This article will explain how UV air purifiers function, whether they have been proven to be successful in cleaning the air, and any safety concerns they may have. If you’re curious about whether or whether utilizing a UV lamp will help prevent coronavirus infection, read our blog about how UV light kills Covid-19.
What are UV light air purifiers and how do they work?
Short-wave ultraviolet light (UV-C light) is used in UV air purifiers to inactivate airborne diseases and microorganisms such as mold, bacteria, and viruses. All air purifiers have the same goal is to decrease indoor air contaminants. UV germicidal irradiation, or UVGI air purifiers, is another name for the technology. This is in contrast to other air purifiers with UV light technologies that employ UV light but do not use it to directly combat air contaminants.
UV-C air purifiers for dust are currently available as stand-alone units or as systems that can be integrated into existing residential or commercial HVAC systems. UV lamps are activated when air is forced past the device, seeking to disinfect the air through germicidal irradiation. The most major safety concern is the possibility of ozone production as a result of this activity.
Is UVC light capable of killing germs?
According to the FDA, UVC lamps have long been used to kill germs and viruses and are commonly referred to as germicidal lamps. According to a study published in the journal Public Health Reports, “upper room” ultraviolet germicidal radiation (UVGI), where lamps are installed on the ceiling and clean the air near the ceiling before it is cycled back down below, is a common approach to employ UVC to disinfect the air. This sort of air filtration proved successful in stopping the spread of measles in Philadelphia schools in the 1930s.
UVC is currently generating increased interest due to its ability to kill SARS-CoV-2. A high viral load of SARS-CoV-2 was eradicated after nine minutes of UVC exposure, according to a study published in the American Journal of Infection Control.
What is the efficacy of UV air purifiers?
While UV-C radiation has the capacity to destroy bacteria, whether it can do so in a portable air purifier for allergens machine is another story. These devices are frequently promoted as having the ability to minimize dust mites and mold allergies.
UV-C light’s ability to disinfect the air is dependent on a variety of conditions, including:
- Whether or not the contaminants are exposed to UV light
- Whether the cooling action of airflow prevents light from passing through
- The substance of the light bulb that emits this type of light
- The high amount of light that was necessary
- How long does the pollutant stay in the light
Are UV air purifiers effective at killing the coronavirus?
Air cleaners and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) filters, according to the EPA, can assist minimize airborne contaminants, but they should not be used as the only means of protection against SARS-CoV-2.
In addition to adopting air filtration devices, the EPA recommended that people wear face masks and exercise social distancing.
Furthermore, according to a recent study, far-UVC radiation may destroy 99.9% of airborne coronaviruses in just 25 minutes. Low-dose UV light, according to the authors, may be an effective strategy to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission in public settings.
THE CLOSING THOUGHTS
While air purifiers with UV light are excellent in removing microorganisms from the air, they also have the potential to generate ozone. HEPA or carbon filter air purifiers are recommended by the EPA.
Controlling the source of indoor air pollution and ensuring that the area is well ventilated are two ways to improve the quality of indoor air.