When UV light is mentioned to people, many immediately think of either sunbeds, counterfeit money detectors, insect traps, or fish pond disinfection units. However, UV light plays a major role in disinfection. For UV sterilization, only UVC (100-280nm) has high enough energy to effectively kill microorganisms.
UVC Disinfection Systems use the high-energy from short-wavelength UVC light to attack the cellular RNA and DNA of disease-causing pathogens. UVC damages the nucleic acids in these microorganisms and prevents them from infecting and reproducing.
The absorption of UVC energy causes the dimerization of molecules, particularly thymine. Formation of thymine dimers in the DNA of bacteria and viruses prevents replication and the ability to infect. This is one major reason why UVC disinfection requires the area to be vacated completely to avoid irradiation damages to humans.
It is also important to note that since UV sterilization uses the energy of UVC to destroy biomolecules, its effectiveness is dependant on the length of exposure time and the distance from the light source. For example, if you use a UV lamp held within 1 inch above a petri dish grown with E. coli, it will take 1-2 min to show complete sterilization.
Be it UVC bots or UVC T8 lamps, that you choose for disinfecting hospitals or educational facilities, UV sterilization is a great option to ensure clean and disease-free environments.