Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) is a disinfection method that uses UVC radiation to inactivate microorganisms by causing DNA damage to prevent replication and infection. Previous studies have shown that UVC can inactivate coronaviruses, including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) 1.
UVC light has high energy and a short wavelength. This light damages the genetic material in bacteria, viruses, and others. The UVC energy creates double bonds in the DNA and RNA, which prevent genetic information from being copied and replicated as necessary for reproduction and infection
Sunlight disinfects, and the UV light is particularly effective at knocking out airborne pathogens and bacteria. Unlike actual sunlight with UVA and UVB light, which often cause skin cancer, the Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) employs wavelengths of light known as UVC that are shorter than UVA and UVB. The shorter wavelengths mean that the particles of light, or photons, are of higher energy. Counterintuitively, this means UVC is safer for people because it is absorbed by proteins in the outer layer of dead skin cells before reaching the DNA in the living cells.
The Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) is most needed during the current COVID-19 pandemic:
Currently UVC light is being proposed to disinfect N-95 respirators for reuse during the current COVID-19 pandemic because supplies are running low in hospitals throughout the United States and abroad2. Scientists consider indoor ultraviolet (UV) light to zap coronavirus in the air. It has been proposed by scientists to implement it in hospitals and workplaces to control and eradicate COVID-19 entirely.
Conventional disinfection VS Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI):
Hospital studies show that traditional cleaning with liquid disinfectants rarely eradicates pathogens from the surface. Often these disinfectant liquids/chemicals aren’t effective against many pathogens or may damage materials and equipment. Hence, the role of no-touch disinfection (NTD) systems comes into play. Conventional disinfection methods may be limited by the operator’s ability to ensure appropriate selection, formulation, distribution and contact time of the agent, whereas these problems can be reduced by the use of no-touch disinfection (NTD) systems by Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) which makes sure to kill 99.99% germs, bacteria and airborne pathogens effectively 3.
No-touch disinfection (NTD) technologies that use ultraviolet light may be effective in enhancing the results of the effort spent to reduce the microbial burden and potentially achieving lower infection rates, as aimed for in infection control strategies4.
Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) is rapidly becoming a popular disinfection method due to its effectiveness and practicality. In addition to its use in medical facilities, UVGI is gaining acceptance as a widespread tool for infection prevention and sterilization of homes, offices, and stores.