What is UV-C?
UV-C is transmitted by the Sun naturally in very large amounts and in that very natural form is abundant in space. Very little of the Sun’s UV-C however will in fact reach Earth as it is filtered by Earth’s Ozone layer. There are other types of UV that do however reach Earth, those being UV-A and UV-B both of which are able to penetrate the Ozone layer and reach Earth due to the longer wavelength of the light that results in greater penetration ability. In simple terms, as the wavelength of the light increases the amount of penetration increases.
How effective is UV-C in sterilising against virus such as Covid-19?
UV-C has been used for 100’s of years to sterilise equipment, particularly in the Medical industry where mistakes cannot afford to take place. UV-C has recently been validated as a method of powerfully eliminating Covid-19 within the studies conducted in various renowned Global institutions such as Hiroshima University. There is also a large amount of validated data showing that UV-C deactivates (kills) the other Corona virus strains such as SARS and MERS as well as Flu and other common viruses. Sterilising shared equipment will also help protect the spread of other annual viruses
Will UV-C kill other viruses?
Yes, UV-C will eliminate viruses and bacteria at a DNA level. The time of the exposure may vary depending upon the specific risk. UV-C can also be effective against spores and fungi.
How does UV-C work to kill viruses and other bacteria?
As contamination by virus or bacterial load is surface driven and small, UV-C will penetrate the virus and inactivate it at a DNA level without impacting the part being sterilised.
Does all UV do the same?
The short answer is no. UV is generally categorised by the wavelength of the light. UV-C has a wavelength between 200 and 280 nM
Does the wavelength within the UV-C spectrum make a difference to the efficacy of the sterilisation effect?
Yes, the effectiveness of UV-C in sterilisation follows what approximates to a ‘Bell Curve’ (see below) the most efficient wavelength being around 265nM where it is very effective in breaking down the virus DNA compared to lower or higher wavelengths that could be as low as 1-2%.
The UVON product tunes the frequency of light to 265nM and transmits very little of other wavelengths. This tuning allows a far safer system that uses much less energy than other technologies that may generate as much of the non-efficient wavelength that is, in effect, not working on your behalf. UVON products are therefore very efficient with a high efficacy to efficiently deactivate virus or bacteria.
Why use LED to generate UV-C?
UV-C can be generated using various technologies such as with a low and medium pressure mercury-vapor lamp that produces light through use of an electric arc through vaporized mercury and pulsed Zenon amongst others.
Generation of UV-C in this way can be initially effective but quite inefficient with only 30-40% efficiency. What is more concerning is that the amount of UV-C generated will significantly deteriorate over time meaning exposure you believe may be working well to protect your staff is in fact not very effective and may lull you into a false sense of security.
Using LED to generate UV-C means that the EXACT wavelength of emission can be tuned that significantly reduces the energy required and increases efficiencies. Most importantly – they will not deteriorate to any magnitude over the life of the product – giving piece of mind that the device will continue to protect. LED technology is also ‘instantaneous’ meaning once an interlock is broken and power removed from the device and no hazardous emissions will be present.
Is UV-C Safe?
In large doses UV-C can be dangerous if exposed directly to human skin or eyes. As UV-C has in fact very little penetration the impacts are generally surface driven for small exposures. It is extremely important that any device that generates UV-C is correctly guarded and protected.
UVON devices are designed for Industry, they are CE certified and fully protect the operator. The UVON system uses exclusively LED light generation – meaning it is instantly switched off when power is removed which together with the industry best interlock on UVON products eliminates any risk.
Our Covid-19 plan includes a cleaning regime – is this enough?
Cleaning is very different to disinfecting or sanitising. Cleaning can be, generally speaking, described as the act of removing debris from a surface, whereas disinfecting is a method of removing or killing pathogenic microorganisms, meaning a good cleaning regime will not be effective in your Covid-19 plan.
Disinfecting using wipes, according to WHO, is somewhat effective but is significantly variable in success especially with non-flat / smooth surfaces. Even then, variables such as the type of chemical used, cloth used, pressure of wipe and coverage of the wipe give many factors to make the process less effective. Indeed, although it is better than not carrying out these actions, there is a reasonable probability that elements of the virus if it were present before the process, will be present after cleaning.
When adopting a chemical process, it is important to also consider the chemical resistance of the product being wiped, the COSHH impacts and PPE as well as the time to dry.
UVON Industrial UV-C sanitation will kill viruses at a DNA level in a very short time and effectively stopping the virus’s ability to replicate – without any heat, chemical reaction, COSHH, or PPE considerations. UVON devices are industrial, robust and fully guarded/interlocked for safe use.
How long does sterilisation using UVON products take?
This depends on the particular virus / spore or bacteria being eliminated (see attached table). As the product is shipped from our UK facility, it will be set up with a duration of time that has been validated for eliminating Covid-19 with some additional factor of safety. This will be approx. 20 seconds. The time can be varied very easily, indeed for components or surfaces that can be placed closer to the emitter (as the energy reduces as the distance increases) the time can in fact be further reduced.
Why is the UVON industrial product so much less expensive than others?
UVON enjoy an enviable depth of Industrial experience in many industry sectors such as Food, Pharma and Biotech together with Automotive, Aerospace and Oil & Gas. This experience has given UVON a unique perspective in GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice – used in the food and pharma industry to manage risk – in particular contamination control) which when combined with many years of lighting experience has placed the UVON team in an enviable position to create a cost effective, efficient solution that is capable of withstanding Industry requirements.
How will an operator know the UVON device is operating?
UVON have designed a fully filtered view screen into the door of the device and have also integrated a visible UV light into the system as UV-C is not visible to the human eye. This allows an operator to clearly see that the device is in operation mode after pressing the integrated timer switch.
How can I order UVON UV-C sterilisation products?
To order UVON UV-C products please submit your enquiry via our Contact Us page.