The Use of UVC for Sanitization in Hospitals
The COVID-19 pandemic has opened the eyes of many people to how harmful and vicious many microorganisms can be. People who weren’t usually serious about their hygiene suddenly became the biggest fans of washing their hands a million times in a second. Hospitals were filled to the brim with COVID-19 patients. This explosion in demand for medical attention in hospitals led to the increased exposure of the hospitals to more microorganisms, apart from the coronavirus. This virus is just one of many microorganisms all around us that can harm us. Mere alcohol-based sanitizers are not enough to kill all these microorganisms. But we are not completely helpless against them. We have UVC. This article discusses the use of UVC for sanitization and disinfection in hospitals.
What is UVC?
UVC stands for Ultraviolet light C. And yes, there are UVA and UVB as well. These three are all radiations from the sun. The major difference among them is the wavelength at which they operate. UVA operates within 315 nm to 400 nm, UVB operates at 280 nm to 315 nm, and UVC operates at 200 nm to 280 nm. These ultraviolet rays only make up about 10% of all the rays that the sun emits. Of this 10%, only about 4% makes it past the protective layers of the earth’s atmosphere to reach the ground. And of this tiny percentage, UVB makes up 5%. Everything else is UVA. UVC never makes it to where we are.
What is UVC used for?
All UV rays have their uses, but UVC works very effectively for sanitization. When it hits microorganisms, it goes straight to their DNA or RNA and inactivates it, making it impossible for them to replicate. And when they can’t replicate, they can’t infect. This use of UVC is so effective that even big hospitals have adopted it for their sterilization purposes. So, scientists have long come up with artificial methods of generating the radiation. Does a UVC LED sound familiar? If it isn’t a UVC lamp is a lamp that radiates UVC.
The Use of UVC in Hospitals for Disinfection
Hospitals have to be hygienic all the time. There should be no room for any harmful microorganisms to breed in there. Otherwise, patients would leave the hospitals sicker than they were before they went in. That is why hospitals seek the most effective methods of keeping the place clean. As a result, more hospitals are turning to a more lethal sanitizer: The UVC.
Research has it that UVC kills the harmful bacteria it comes in contact with. This high level of lethality against bacteria and other microscopic beings makes the UVC the go-to option for sanitization. Today, many hospitals trust UVC technology to clean up all pathogens after them. And this technology is so effective that some hospitals use UVC to combat coronavirus.
Is UVC Safe to Use Around Humans?
This is an important question to ask, especially when the safety of humans is in question. So, are humans safe when they are exposed to UVC?
The simple answer is this: No one should be under direct exposure to UVC. It could cause skin injuries and even penetrate the eyes to cause more injuries. So, you should only use UVC to sterilize objects and not humans. However, scientists have found that far UVC (UVC at a wavelength of 222 nm) is safe when it comes into contact with humans. It is not strong enough to penetrate the eye layer or the skin. This doesn’t reduce its effectiveness on microorganisms, though. Also, it is also best that whoever operates an artificial UVC source should know how to handle it properly, and kids should not be trusted with it. Many UVC lamps contain mercury in them. Even in small quantities, this chemical is harmful. That is why there should be proper disposal of the lamp when it is out of use. And UVC LEDs are a great alternative to UVC lamps, as they don't contain mercury.
The practice of using UVC for sanitization in hospitals has been around for a long time, but it keeps getting more popular every year. Especially with how much many smart people in white lab coats have worked to make UVC accessible in different forms and safe to use around humans. Now, anyone can rely on UVCs for the sanitization of their environment, whether they are individuals or giant establishments like hospitals.