UV radiation has shorter wavelengths compared to visible light and longer wavelengths compared to X-rays. UV radiation is divided into three Wavelengths: UV-A (315nm-400 nm), UV-B (280nm-315nm), UV-C (100nm-280nm)
Different UV wavelengths and intensities are used for various purposes such as:
- Beneficial Germicidal Use: Used in industries that require water, air, and surface sterilization. Used in the food industry to provide safe and effective surface disinfection through UV irradiation. It helps preserve the nutritional value, reduce health hazards, and prolong the shelf life of food by sterilizing pathogens.
- Tanning and Skin Treatment: UVA beams are used to cause uniform tanning, which is better than sunlight as they also have harmful UVB and affect DNA cause burns. UV Phototherapy is effective in treating Vitiligo, psoriasis, and smallpox lesions. It also prevents the growth of certain kinds of skin cancers.
- Efficient Water Treatment: A safe and efficient way to treat water without the need to use harmful chemicals that create pollution in rivers, oceans, and water bodies. UV lamps are used for water purification in water reclamation, wastewater, drinking water, industrial and commercial process water, pool, and spa.
- Central in Fluorescent inspection: Certain substances change the UV light energy to the visible spectrum after absorption. This fluorescent behaviour is useful in inspecting splits, breaks, forged documents, banknotes, and defects in objects which are not visible to naked eyes.
- Valuable in Surface and Air Disinfection: Germicidal lamps are used in hospitals to safely and efficiently sterilize surgical equipment, surfaces, and air in the OT. UV lamps are used in medical and similar air-conditioned systems to clear out illness, causing pathogens and contaminants to minimize respiratory ailments and aggravations.
- Utilized in Curing Materials: UV curing immediately cures adhesives, coating, decorative glazes, inks, varnishes, and lacquers by creating photochemical reactions in the materials.
Excessive exposure depending on wavelength, intensity, and duration of UV radiation is associated with skin cancers, sunburn, accelerated skin aging, cataracts, and other eye diseases. Man-made UVC emitting sources are regulated so that UV-C exposure is at a minimal level. They are required to install shields, interlocks, or special guards to prevent UV exposure.