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How UV light disinfects

Updated: Jul 23, 2020

UV light can be applied directly on surfaces and objects to rid them of dangerous pathogens and keep areas clean, but how does UV light work and is it effective? Here is a look at how UV light disinfects, according to science.

The First Law of Photochemistry says that only the light that is absorbed by an organism can be effective at producing photochemical change in the organism. The basic unit of all light is the photon. If photons are not absorbed when they pass through something, then no photochemical reaction can be produced. To inactivate microorganisms, which can be pathogenic, UV energy must be absorbed. Cellular DNA and RNA absorb light with the greatest inactivation efficacy in the UVC range between 245 and 275 nm. This absorbed energy damages the nucleic acids, inhibits cell replication and stops the ability to multiply.

UVC light is even effective against “superbugs”. UVC light is especially effective at eliminating bacteria and viruses because it destroys microorganisms regardless of drug resistance and without any toxic chemicals .It even works against brand new pathogen strains.

Studies show that UVC light disinfection treatments have a protective effect on getting an infection and are effective at reducing overall bacterial counts. They have also shown that UVC technology was significantly more successful than manual disinfection alone on surfaces. Furthermore, data has indicated that standard approaches to environmental cleaning have been determined to be inadequate, leading to the transmission of pathogens from one person to another. When using UVC there has been a reported significant decrease in the number of colony-forming units of the pathogens in direct and indirect line of sight.

Therefore, UV light works to kill pathogens and is an effective measure in disinfection. UVC light should never be used on the skin or the eyes, our Clear-Raze™ UVC Wand has an automatic shut off when turned upwards to avoid contact with the eyes. Visit our Clear-Raze™ page to learn more.


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