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What is UV Light and Why it’s Important

What is UV Light and Why it’s Important

Let’s talk about Ultraviolet Light. You may be asking yourself, what exactly is ultraviolet light? Well today I’m going to briefly explain to you what it is and how it affects the world around us.

What is UV-C Light?

Ultraviolet light is not purple, in fact it isn’t any specific color, as humans UV light is not in our realm of visible light. Due to the shorter wavelengths of UV light, it is impossible to detect with the naked eye. Some species can see UV light however, like bumblebees or other small insects. UV light originates from the sun and can be broken down into three subcategories; UV-A, UV-B and UV-C.

Isn't UV Bad for You?

Now just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there, and without proper protection, UV light can be harmful. As a form of radiation, UV light can have damaging effects on our skin. Prolonged exposure to both UV-A and UV-B light have been known to damage the DNA in the skin which can lead to genetic defects, mutations or skin cancer. Thankfully for us, 95% of UV light is absorbed by the Earth’s ozone layer.

Despite what you may be thinking, not all ultraviolet light is bad. UV-C light is unique because it has the ability to break apart the DNA in germs, leaving them unable to reproduce and spread.

UV-C Light Kills & Disinfects Germs

This is good news as UV-C even has the ability to fight off diseases that have become resistant to antibiotics. The cleansing effect of UV-C is rarely found naturally as most of the light is blocked by the earth’s atmosphere.

However, humans have found a way to utilize the light for our benefit. UV-C light bulbs! Imagine having a string of UV-C light bulbs strung around the house as decorations, well that would be a little strange. 

UV-C light has the ability to disinfect germs on surfaces, the air and in water. This is incredibly important in this day and age when we are faced with a pandemic that seems to spread faster than light itself.

It is important to know the reliability and success of this light means that no microorganisms can survive against UV-C light, it is that strong. Compared to regular household cleaners, UV-C light outruns its competitors with leaps and bounds. 

So Why is UV-C Effective?

Well besides all the information that I mentioned above,

  • UV-C light is a cost effective resource that can help defend against germs at home, but also in the medical field.
  • It is used in hospitals and clinicsespecially while facing unprecedented challenges in regards to medical supplies due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Healthcare workers can disinfect personal protective equipment, surfaces, floors with ease.
  • Eliminates the expenses of other types of cleaning supplies. 

You might be wondering, if UV-C light is so effective why haven’t we used it before? Well the answer is we have. The use of UV-C as a form of disinfectant light has been around for about 200 years, with Niels Finsen as the inventor of the first lamp. His curative invention was awarded a Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1903. In the 1930’s the light became a commercial product which was sold to hospitals.

The use of UV-C light has evolved since then, becoming more effective in killing germs and eliminating bacteria. With a 99.9% success rate, and an ever growing market of people seeing the light in sanitization, the future of UV-C is looking pretty bright.