Imperial Dade Insights

Stay Informed With Helpful Information From Our Experts

What is UV-C Disinfection? A Method for Chemical-Free Disinfection

What is UV-C Disinfection? A Method for Chemical-Free Disinfection

Did you know that you can disinfect surfaces and objects in your facility without using a chemical disinfectant?

Chemical disinfectants are the most common way to inactivate germs on various surfaces and objects, however, newer alternative methods like UV-C disinfection are available to achieve a reduced number of germs without bringing potentially dangerous substances into an area.

UV-C disinfection is also quicker than using other disinfection methods, like the spray and wipe method, which can become time-consuming when your staff has other more hands-on cleaning procedures to complete.

So, are you interested in learning more about UV-C disinfection and if it’s a fit for your building? Keep reading.

What is UV-C Disinfection?

UV-C, or Ultraviolet-C, disinfection is no-touch disinfection method that uses ultraviolet light to perform chemical-free disinfection. The UV-C light rays are created artificially with specialized lamps.

There are three types of UV rays that are produced by artificial light sources: UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C rays.

UV-C is the most effective at inactivating viruses and bacteria.

What is the difference between UV-A and UV-B and UV-C?

The three types of UV radiation are classified by their wavelength, measured in nm.

UV-A rays are measured at around 400-320nm. This type of UV light can penetrate the middle layer of your skin and cause damage.

UV-B rays are around 320-290nm and can affect the outer layer of your skin.

UV-C rays, which are commonly used in disinfection, have wavelengths that measure 290-200 nm. These rays cannot reach the skin from the atmosphere and are only present through artificial UV-C lamps.

Unlike the other types of UV rays, UV-C is the least likely to cause harm to the operator because they’re the shortest wavelength of naturally occurring radiation.

Is UV-C Disinfection Safe?Diversey-MOONBEAM3

UV-C disinfection is safe but should be used with caution to avoid any operator injuries.

During use, the operators cannot be in the same room with the UV-C Disinfection device as to avoid direct skin exposure and be sure not to look directly into UV-C light.

Over a period of time and extended exposure, UV-C radiation is strong enough to cause severe skin burns and lead to eye injuries.

WARNING: The area being disinfected should be unoccupied to avoid any possible injuries. To avoid any potential issues, we recommend the UV-C device should be used after hours or during off hours.

You should also be aware of what surfaces you’re using UV-C disinfection with. Materials, such as plastic, polymers, and dyed textiles, can be degraded with the use of a UV-C lamp.

Where Can UV-C Disinfection Be Used?

Terminal Cleaning - HealthcareThough UV-C disinfection devices are most notably used to disinfect healthcare  surfaces, like bed rails, phones, tables, IV poles, and workstations on wheels, these devices can also be used in:

  • Hotels
  • Schools
  • Foodservice Businesses
  • Government Offices
  • Office Buildings
  • Entertainment Stadiums
  • Fitness Centers

If your facility requires thorough disinfection, UV-C technology can help make disinfecting surfaces and objects in your facility quicker.

UV-C devices can be used in empty classrooms, offices, and patient rooms to quickly prepare for occupation. Instead of having long downtimes for disinfection, areas in your facility can be cleaned in minutes.

Does UV-C Disinfection Kill Viruses and Germs?

UV-C disinfection devices can be used on various surfaces in your facility to inactivate:

  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Other Pathogens

E-Coli BacteriaWhen using UV-C disinfection, you will have to use two-step disinfection which requires cleaning to be done separately from disinfecting.

That means that before you use a UV-C disinfection device, you should first clean each surface or object so there are no issues with the effectiveness of the device.

How Does UV-C Disinfection Work?

As we’ve mentioned, UV-C uses ultraviolet light rays to disinfect surfaces and objects in your facility. These rays must have contact with the surfaces, and objects being disinfected to be most effective.

This means that your staff will need to make sure that no objects are blocking the surfaces that need to be disinfected.

Objects and surfaces should also be cleaned before using a UV-C device for disinfection. The light rays cannot break through soils and residues which will reduce the effectiveness of disinfection.

Devices that have multiple UV-C lamps can be positioned individually to have contact with specific objects.

Other devices offer 360 degrees of coverage vertically during the disinfection process.

How Long Does UV-C Light Take To Disinfect? 

Depending on the specific germs and bacteria being targeted, the time to disinfect will vary.

Pro-Tip: UV-C disinfection devices have different exposure times depending on the bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens being targeted. Like dwell time, exposure time is the amount of time that the UV-C light needs to have contact with the surfaces being disinfected.

On average, it usually takes about 3 minutes to disinfect a 900 sq. ft room.

Final Thoughts

UV-C disinfection systems will be able to help your staff effectively lower the number of germs and bacteria on the surfaces and objects in your facility.

Integrating one of these devices will be the right choice for facilities looking to lower their cleaning costs or eliminate chemical disinfectant use.

Imperial Dade locations have UV-C disinfectant equipment you can use in your facility. We can help you choose the right disinfectant method for your business based on your specific needs.

Contact an Imperial Dade Specialist today for a review of your commercial cleaning and disinfecting process. Our reps can help you whether you’re located in the United States, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, or Canada.

Check Out These Related Articles: