UVC DISINFECTION SYSTEMS GUIDE - FREE e-BOOK
Dobmeier Institutional Cleaning Experts Review The Latest UVC Disinfection Systems From Diversey And Pure Protective Equipment
The Institutional Cleaning Experts at Dobmeier Janitorial Supplies Outlet provide insights into the latest UVC Disinfection systems. Covering systems for disinfection of room surfaces, room air and device surfaces this range of equipment provides 99.9%-99.9999% inactivation claims for a wide range of pathogens. For safe and effective use of these products, always follow the manufacturer's instructions.
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UVC Disinfection Overview
The Electromagnetic Spectrum with Ultraviolet Expanded To Show Far UV, UVC, UVB, UVA
What Is UVC?
UltraViolet (UV) light is an invisible part of the Electromagnetic Spectrum, lying between visible light and x-rays, having wavelengths in the range 100-400nm. Scientists categorize UV radiation, by wavelength, into 4 Types:
- UV-A with 315-400nm wavelength
- UV-B with280-315nm wavelength
- UV-C with 200-280nm wavelengths
- Far UV with 100-200nm wavelengths
Even though the entire electromagnetic spectrum is emitted from the sun, the amount of UV-C that reaches the earth’s surface is negligible.
UVC For Disinfection
In multiple studies, UVC has been found to be effective in Disinfection - because it Inactivates pathogens including bacteria, viruses, and spores, by rupture of cell walls and can cease their DNA replication process.
UVC emitting "Germicidal" lamps have been developed for the specific purpose of disinfection. To be effective, these lamps must provide a sufficiently high Dosage of UVC to damage microbes beyond the point that they can repair themselves. Different pathogens require different dosages to reach this inactivation point. Dosage is a function of UVC Intensity and Exposure Time, and UVC Intensity diminishes rapidly with distance from the lamp.
For a specific lamp, a specific distance, and a specific microbe, we can use Log Reduction Value (LRV) as a measure of the amount of microbes eliminated by UVC in a specific time:
- LRV=1 inactivates 90% of microbes (one 9)
- LRV=2 inactivates 99% of microbes (two 9s)
- LRV=3 inactivates 99.9% of microbes (three 9s)
- LRV=4 inactivates 99.99% of microbes (four 9s)
- LRV=5 inactivates 99.999% of microbes (five 9s)
- LRV=6 inactivates 99.999% of microbes (six 9s)
There are several UVC systems available for disinfection in institutional and office environments, and we will consider the most effective ones in this guide.
UVC Disinfection Systems
UVC Disinfection Systems From Pure Protective Equipment & Diversey
UVC Disinfection System Effectiveness
UVC has been used for decades to disinfect air, water, and surfaces - and many Limiting Factors are well understood:
- UVC can only inactivate a pathogen by direct irradiation. Therefore, any blockage of the UVC radiation by soils such as dirt, dust, liquids… can decrease the effectiveness of disinfection on surfaces, and microbes sheltered by surface pores, or other structures, may remain active.
- To attain a higher LRV requires a stronger dosage of irradiation. So, some low-power lamps, sold for home use, typically require long exposure times and very close proximity to the surface to be disinfected.
- UVC exposure to human eyes and skin has been associated with injury, so UVC lamp installation and operation should be performed following manufacturers guidelines so that human exposure to damaging radiation cannot occur.
Available UVC Sources
A number of different lamp technologies have been developed to generate UVC Radiation for disinfection applications.
These different lamp types offer different benefits and limitations, including risk to human health.
UVC Lamp Risks
With several devices obtaining FCC and UL Certification, UVC disinfection is rapidly being adopted as the primary disinfection protocol in healthcare facilities, schools, and businesses. However, UVC irradiation has some potential for risk to human (and animal) health, depending on the light intensity and exposure time. Well-documented risks include eye injuries and skin burns due to UVC exposure above 230nm wavelength. Some UVC disinfection systems may also generate Ozone, which is a known irritant for the respiratory system. Additionally, Low-Pressure Mercury UVC Lamps contain Mercury, a known toxin and carcinogen, so breakage of liquid mercury lamps poses a threat, and disposal procedures should follow manufacturer guidelines.
UVC is also known to degrade many common plastics, and can have a bleaching effect on dyed fabrics.
To ensure health & safety, all UV-C disinfection systems must be installed, maintained, and operated only in strict accordance with the instructions and guidelines provided by the manufacturer/p>
UVC Lamp Types
Low-Pressure Mercury UVC Lamps
Low-Pressure Mercury UVC lamps have been in common use for disinfection for decades, and some have been developed to produce >90% of emitted radiation at a wavelength of 254nm (posing a potential human health risk). Other wavelengths emitted are in the UV, Visible, and InfraRed (IR) light range.
When switched on, Mercury lamps start with only about 50% light output, and may take several minutes to warm up to full operating temperature in order to provide 100% output. Also frequent on-off cycling reduces service life.
Mercury lamps may convert up to 40% of electrical power into UVC radiation for disinfection applications, so the power density and emitted radiance of these bulbs is considered to be relatively low compared to some other UVC sources. Consequently, depending on the distance from the bulb, it may require a significant irradiation time to provide a dose that is sufficient to inactivate pathogens.
Some of these lamps are manufactured using a mercury amalgam, instead of liquid mercury, which reduces health risks from breakage.
UVC Excimer Lamps
UVC Excimer lamps have been developed to produce a peak emission at a "Far UVC" wavelength of 222nm. Manufacturers claim that this wavelength is not harmful to humans and that, with filtering out of longer wavelengths, these lamps may be safely used in occupied spaces. Excimer lamps can provide 100% light output in less than a second and service life is unaffected by frequent on/off cycling.
Pulsed Xenon UV-C (PX UV-C) Lamps
Xenon lamps emit a broad spectrum of light in the range of wavelengths 100-2000nm (UV-Visible-IR). Pulsed Xenon lamps emit UVC in short, high-intensity, pulses - and it is claimed that they require a shorter duration of exposure to achieve pathogen inactivation doses. Pulsed light energy may be delivered instantaneously with a power of several MegaWatts.
These systems have found applications in sterilizing food processing equipment, pharmaceuticals, and cleanrooms. They are also used in many industrial processes requiring high power density, but direct exposure to their radiation poses a risk to human health.
Light Emitting Diode (LED) UVC Lamps
LEDs characteristically emit UVC in a narrow band of wavelength, and currently available lamps offer peak wavelengths at 265nm, 273nm, and 280nm. LED sources offer instant high intensity, have a smaller surface area and higher directionality than Mercury lamps, and they are not sensitive to on-off cycling.
These lamps are ideal for disinfection application in on-demand water dispensing systems, but direct exposure to their radiation poses a risk to human health.
Choosing The Right UVC Disinfection System
Dobmeier offers a range of high-quality UVC disinfection systems to suit your needs:
1. Mobile UVC Room Surface Disinfection Systems
2. Fixed Ceiling Space UVC Air Disinfection Systems
3. Dedicated Mobile Device & Keyboard Surface UVC Disinfection Systems
All of these systems can provide proven disinfection service when installed, maintained, and operated correctly.
FREE UVC Disinfection Evaluation
Get A Free UVC Disinfection System Appraisal In Your Facility
If you are considering a UVC disinfection system purchase, do your research to define the optimum device for your specific application. Decide if you need one or more of the following types of system that are available:
- One or more portable UVC room surface disinfection units
- One or more ceiling-mounted UVC air disinfection units
- One or more UVC mobile device surface disinfection units
If You Have Questions, Or Wish To Speak With An Expert About Your Application, Or To Request A Free UV-C Disinfection Appraisal In Your Facility (In NY or PA), Call Dobmeier At 1.800.870.2006 or e-mail.
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