UV light has a shorter wavelength than visible light and divided into three categories based on decreasing wavelengths: UV-A, UV-B, UV-C. Shorter wavelengths are more harmful because of energized radiation. Luckily shorter waves have limited ability to penetrate human skin.
UV radiations are widely used in industrial processes and medical and dental practices for various purposes, such as killing bacteria, creating fluorescent effects, curing inks and resins, Phototherapy, and sun-tanning. Each type of UV radiation has different uses.
For germicidal purposes, the shortest wavelength light UV-C (200nm -280nm) is used. UV-C radiations target the DNA of microorganisms and destroy their nucleic acids, scrambling the DNA, which makes reproduction impossible and can make the cell inactive in performing normal function resulting in cell death. UV-C Irradiation is majorly used in professional and industrial environments for Water treatments, Disinfection, Sterilization, and Food Sanitization.
UV cleansing sources can kill more than 99% of germs, infectious bacteria, viruses, and fungi in a short time. UV water purifiers also use UV-C lights as it can emit germicidal radiation at wavelength 254 nm. This wavelength is absorbed by the pathogen in the highest amounts causing an irreversible inactivation of the organism’s growth and reproduction functionality.
Most UV Sterilization devices will use UV-C lights to give effective sterilization. Improper handling of radiation can cause severe damage by causing various skin problems, accidents, and injury if not careful. Hence it is heavily regulated by the industry to keep the UV-C exposure at minimal levels. Companies are required to install shields, interlocks, and special guards to equipment used by the public to prevent UV exposure.
Practice caution while handling germicidal UV-C lamps by wearing protective clothing and eyewear. Avoid prolonged exposure to UV light while it is operational. Recent researchers are experimenting on using Continuous low doses of far ultraviolet C (Far-UVC) light that can kill airborne flu viruses without harming human tissues. So, sterilization can be used in the presence of humans.