Too much exposure is, of course, harmful, but the Sun, in addition to many qualities, has also being considered to be the best disinfectant. if one were to analyse further, sunlight contains three types of ultraviolet rays namely UV- A, B & C. The third type i.e. Ultraviolet (UV) C can destroy the genetic material in humans or viral particles. The UV C is the light which purifies the atmosphere for us humans. It was a question of time before scientists discovered ways to harness the power of UV-C to kill microorganisms.
A bit of history
UV light disinfection technology has been around for quite some time now. It’s a method that uses short-wavelength ultraviolet (UV) light to disinfect surfaces. The interest in the use of UV light for disinfection increased when the 1903 Nobel prize for medicine was awarded to Niels Finsen for his use of UV against tuberculosis of the skin. Around the same time, UV lamps were invented predominantly for medical and healthcare purposes. The disinfectant properties gained popularity over the years. A prototype UV water treatment plants were installed in Austria and Switzerland in the year 1955 since the number has grown to 1500 water treatment plants across Europe. A discovery in the year 1998, motivated wide-scale use of this technology in North America. As technology improved, the cost of developing UV disinfectant kits reduced and adaption increased exponentially (source: Wikipedia)
The technology was further explored for surface disinfection. Public health concerns such as drugresistant tuberculosis, bioterrorism, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SaaRs) exaggerated to prevent transmission of infections that are completely or partially airborne using environmental controls. UV light disinfection received renewed interest after many years of underutilization. With the recent outbreak of COVID -19 pandemic, the need for efficient disinfectant systems has never been so noticeable.
How does it work, is it safe- let’s bust some myths?
UV light is electromagnetic radiation with shorter wavelengths which make it invisible to naked eyes. This shorter wavelength light is strongly absorbed by nucleic acids. The absorption in return creates defects in the nucleic acids (which is the main element of viruses) thereby destroying it. In biochemistry terms, it introduces ‘pyrimidine dimers‘– resulting in the death or inactivation of the organism. Thus UV-C is also known as “germicidal UV”.
Recently, amidst the Covid-19 outbreak, Magnolia Bakery in New York installed a ‘Cleanse portal’. Patrons of the shop observed purple-hued ceiling lights which ‘wash’ visitors and workers alike with a potentially disease-destroying ‘far-ultraviolet’ light. A futuristic and completely safe method of disinfection -it has also been well received.
UV disinfection is used on a large scale for water disinfection around the world. Canada has adopted a lot of UV based solutions during the pandemic. Xgerminator is a machine installed in select Toronto grocery stores. Its uses UV-C light to ensure customers that their groceries are virus-free before being brought into their home. In New York City, UV-C light is being tested to clean subway cars and buses. The disinfection will happen overnight when the cars are not in service.
Its has been observed that UV light is perfectly safe, and there are absolutely no ‘Leftover’ of unwanted microorganisms after controlled and measured exposure to UV light.
Solution closer to home
The Covid-19 pandemic has not left India unscathed. The numbers are increasing in high-risk cities, and the fear of a second wave is still on the horizon.
In a culturally unique country like India, where man to man connect is considered to be very important, social distancing was like a stroke of lightning. In India, daily purchases of vegetables and necessities is a norm unlike in other countries where it’s a weekly or monthly ritual. Even if home deliveries of containment free supplies are assured of by many service providers – it’s always better to be sure than sorry.
FIB- SOL Life Technologies Pvt. Ltd., an India based company is involved in applying front end research expertise from areas like nano-biotechnology and computational biology to overcome challenges faced by various industry sectors- has proven its skills to look beyond the obvious.
FIB SOL has created the UV Mate. A 4 sq ft tent-shaped devices which fold into a compact easy to carry bag, an ultraportable disinfecting device for groceries, cash, devices and other day to day items. The disinfection efficacy of UV Mate device was tested using an indicator microbe B.megaterium. The D90 germicidal dose of UVC for B.megaterium is 130 J/m2 and the D90 Coronavirus = 7 J/ m2. By this, it is estimated that B.megaterium will require 19x higher exposure than Coronavirus for killing. The treated goods remain unaffected and are completely safe for use. UV mate can be used for disinfecting both dry and wet objects. Treated vegetable and fruits have better storage due to killing of spoilage microbe on their surface. Installed with a UV C germicidal lamp capable of killing 99.99 % viruses, bacteria and fungi. Once switched on the UV C light disinfects in a matter of few minutes.
Quick disinfection through UV mate, before using products got from outside – will help to keep you and your family safe and well protected.
UV c is the safest and the most non-intrusive disinfection method.
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