UV-C Light vs Chemical Disinfection Sanitization
Ultraviolet (UV) light is a small range of light on the electromagnetic spectrum emitted from the sun that is between 100-400 nm. There are three categories of UV light – A, B, C. UV-C is the shortest of the wavelengths, and are absorbed by the protecting ozone layer. UV lamps designed for water disinfection use a gas mixture containing the element mercury (Hg) vapour to produce ultraviolet light.
Exposure to UV light in the wavelength spectrum of 100 – 280 nm damages the genetic (DNA and RNA) and other molecules inside a microorganism. The damage kills the specific microorganism.
Bacteria, protozoa, viruses, fungi, algae are all sensitive to UV-C light.
“UVC disinfection significantly reduced the number of bacteria on surfaces directly or indirectly exposed to UVC to a very low number.” – European PubMed Central
Benefits Of UV-C Light:
No viruses tested over the last 40 years have survived uv exposure
Cons Of UV-C Light:
Sometimes doesn’t sanitize “shadow areas” like bed rails, lockers, and mattresses so a chemical is needed for these areas.
The typical chemicals for professionally cleaning surfaces is chloramine. Chloramine is used in drinking water in small amounts. Chloramine is a group of chemical compounds that contain chlorine and ammonia. When absorbed into the skin Chloramine causes irritation, rash, itching, dry skin, and skin diseases. It can also cause digestive damage and disorders, and the drinking water cleaning form of Chloramine (Monochloramine) causes gastric cancer according to the Journal of Gastroenterology.
Pros Of Chloramine
- Kills surface microorganisms
Cons Of Chloramine
- Residue left behind
- Does not prevent aerially transmitted infection