You may be wondering about how effective UVC is for disinfection when compared with other sterilization solutions, such as chemical sanitizers. Let’s zoom into the use of UVC for sanitization and how effective it is.
UVC Disinfection vs Chemical Disinfection: Which is better?
UVC is one of the best disinfectants we know and have, and it kills 97.7% of pathogens in a hospital setting. The way this ultraviolet ray kills pathogens is that it penetrates the genetic code of a microorganism (DNA or RNA) and deactivates it. This way, the microorganism can’t reproduce or replicate until it dies. As a result of this cut-throat effectiveness, a lot of hospitals use UVC for sanitization.
Many chemical sterilizers can’t boast of this level of effectiveness. There are even some pathogens, such as giardia and cryptosporidium, which are resistant to chlorine sterilizers. These microorganisms are easily devoured by UVC, though.
In water disinfection, UVC is a better alternative to the chemical disinfectant, chlorine. Chlorine gas is toxic and could cause harm when you use too much of it in disinfecting water. UVC, however, is safer. Also, chlorinating water requires more materials and time than UVC.
As for surface sterilization, chemical sterilizers are not the best option. Some chemical sterilizers leave some unpleasant smells behind. They are sometimes harsh on the surfaces you clean. And the worst downside to using chemical sterilizers is that they are not friendly for environments where kids or animals are. The reason is that there is usually some residue left after you clean surfaces with chemicals, and ingesting these residues could harm whoever ingests the residues.
Fortunately, it is not the same for UVC. You only need to hold your UVC LED close to the surface you intend to disinfect and invisible light from the UVC LED kills the microorganisms. After then, the surfaces are safe for use for everyone, including animals and kids.
How to Test if Your UVC LED Works
UVC LED glows when you turn it on. But not all glowing LEDs are UVC LEDs. And since we can't see UV light with our naked eyes, and we can't see the microorganisms the UVC LED kills. How then do you test if your UVC LED works?.
Testing Your UVC LED with the UVC Dosimeters
A UVC Dosimeter is a tool you can use to check for the exposure of any UV device, or surface in healthcare, manufacturing, and laboratory environments. It is a card that has an active area drawn on it with photo-chromatic ink. This ink changes color, depending on its level of exposure to UVC
How to use a UVC dosimeter card
Using a UVC dosimeter card is simple when you follow these steps.
- Place the UVC LED on the dosimeter card. If you are using a pre-installed UVC device, you can hang the card anywhere, as long as it receives UVC doses. Before the test, you will notice that the center of the active area has a yellow color. We expect this yellow color to change if the UVC LED is not fake.
- Clear the area to avoid exposure to UVC after you turn on the UVC device.
- After about 15 minutes, turn of the UVC device and check the dosimeter card.
- If the yellow center has changed color, it means the UVC device work properly.
Another way to know if your UVC truly works is to check the UVC certificate of the device. The certificate helps you verify that the device is a proper UVC LED. Usually, UVC devices come with these certificates.
All our UV LEDs at UVDaddy, for example, come with these certificates that verify that the devices truly work and are safe to use according to safety requirements from major regulatory bodies. UVDaddy can also provide you with other certificates that verify the credibility of the company and its products when you request for them.
Other testing methods
There are other ways to test if your UVC LEDs work, such as the banana test. However, this test is not reliable, and it fails sometimes. In fact, you could trick this test with any kind of UV light.