What is UV Radiation?
Ultraviolet (UV) light is a non-visible electromagnetic radiation commonly known as light from the sun or as a “black light” used to check currency. It has shorter wavelengths than visible light but longer wavelengths than X-ray radiation. UV light covers wavelengths from 100 to 400 nm and is divided into three subcategories:
Ultraviolet A UVA 400 – 315 nm
Ultraviolet B UVB 315 – 280 nm
Ultraviolet C UVC 280 – 100 nm
Both UVA and UVB radiation pass through the earth’s atmosphere, reaching the surface, but UVC radiation is mostly absorbed by the ozone layer, never completely reaching land.
In lighting spectrums, a shorter wavelength means more energy. UVC has the shortest wavelength which allows it to be more energetic than visible light, and a more powerful tool for effective radiation. It is versatile and can be used for disinfecting water and destroying harmful micro-organisms in other liquids, on surfaces, food products and in ‘air’ organisms. UVC technology is an inexpensive, highly efficient and reliable way to destroy more than 99.999% of all pathogens within seconds without the additional use of chemicals or harmful side effects.
How Does UV Light Sterilization Work?
The entire UVC range of ultraviolet radiation is germicidal and falls into a subset of light called Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI). UVGI is an environmentally friendly way of disrupting, mutating and breaking apart the DNA and RNA of bacteria, viruses and a majority of fungal pathogens—consequently destroying their ability to multiply and cause disease. The two factors that directly influence how effective UV light sterilization is when using it as a biosecurity tool are time of exposure and UV light intensity. The amount of time UVC is exposed to any given pathogen is proportional to the amount of killing or inactivation it does. The fluorescent-based light tubes in the BioShift® Pass-Through UV Chamber emit UVC light at 254 nm wavelength, which is in the range for optimal pathogen killing.