UV Disinfection Light: What Is It And Why Are Healthcare Practitioners Using It For Infection Control?
UV-C light is germicidal, meaning that it has the ability to destroy pathogens including bacteria and viruses. UV-C light accomplishes this feat by deactivating the pathogens’ DNA, and thus destroying their ability to multiply. There are some challenges to using UV Light for disinfection, however. UV Light’s effectiveness is directly related to proximity and exposure time. Additionally, UV Light is subject to shadowing, requiring effective UV disinfection
to be direct and unobstructed. Still, UV-C Light is being implemented in an increasing number of infection control devices designed to disinfect everything from cell phones to entire rooms.
Effective UV cleaning systems
use high intensity UV-C Light to achieve a Log 3 to Log 6 (99.9%-99.9999%) reduction in most major pathogens including MRSA, VRE, MDR-gram negative, norovirus and C.diff spores. Today, Healthcare Infection Control Practitioners are using a variety of UV Light solutions to protect against dangerous Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI’s) which affect as many as 2 million US hospital patients every year.
Some healthcare UV Light solutions focus on disinfecting common touch surfaces such as cell phones, tablet computers and computer keyboards. Other solutions including UV Robots are used to disinfect entire rooms. Emerging technology in UV systems includes the recent introduction of reliable UV-C LED lights. The benefit of UV-C LED is their low power and lack of heat generation as compared to high intensity UV florescent bulbs. Today, UV Light can be an important part of a hospital’s infection control protocols. As UV Light technology continues to improve and costs come down, it is likely that we will see the development of more devices using UV Light for effective cleaning and disinfection