The importance of sanitisation and disinfection has never been more at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Since the onset of the pandemic, it has become a much more prominent consideration within our work and home lives.
The spread of infectious diseases, such as Covid-19, can be prevented by keeping our surroundings clean and disinfected. Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) technology has been around for decades and has been proven to kill germs, bacteria and viruses effectively. In recent years, UVGI technology advancements have improved how we sanitise our environment, especially in the healthcare sector. Below, we take a closer look at UVGI technology and the progress made.
How does UVGI technology work?
UVGI technology works by emitting ultraviolet light at a specific wavelength (UV-C) that destroys the DNA structure of microorganisms, rendering them unable to reproduce and causing their death. UV-C light is highly effective in killing various microorganisms, including viruses, bacteria and fungi. It has also been shown to be effective in helping control the spread of SARS-CoV-2.
UVGI technology in the healthcare sector
Hospitals and other healthcare facilities are prone to the spread of infections and disease, making it necessary to maintain a clean and disinfected environment. In the healthcare sector, the use of UVGI technology for surface and air disinfection has grown steadily since 2010 and increased dramatically during the Covid outbreak.
UVGI technology has proven effective in reducing the spread of infections in healthcare facilities. A meta-analysis of recent studies published in the National Library of Medicine in 2022 reported that, from a total of 16 studies looking at the effect of UVGI on healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs), 11 showed a statistically significant reduction (between a 44% and 16% decrease) in HCAIs.
Use of portable UV-C devices
One of the most significant advancements in UVGI technology is the use of portable UV-C devices. These devices emit UV-C light and can be used to sanitise various surfaces and objects, including patient rooms, operating rooms, and medical equipment. Portable UV-C devices have become increasingly popular in healthcare facilities due to their ease of use and ability to sanitise hard-to-reach areas.
A report published in the National Library of Medicine reviewed the effectiveness of portable UV-C devices, such as Pulsed Xenon Ultraviolet Devices and Mercury Ultraviolet C Devices, and found studies where the rate of infections among hospital patients had reduced when using these devices alongside standard hospital room cleaning. However, it also determined that there was insufficient evidence to draw definitive conclusions on the use of this newer technology at this stage.
Use of UV-C LED lights
Another advancement in UVGI technology is the use of UV-C LED lights. LED lights have several advantages over traditional UV lamps, including longer lifespan, lower energy consumption, and the ability to be easily integrated into various products. UV-C LED lights are being used in various healthcare applications, including disinfection of high-touch surfaces, central line hubs and the complex components within ventilators.
In addition to surface and air disinfection, UVGI technology is also being used for water treatment. UV-C light can disinfect water by killing harmful microorganisms, such as bacteria and viruses. UV water treatment is a highly effective method for producing safe and clean drinking water, capable of reducing the number of bacteria and viruses in water by 99.99%.
UVGI technology has revolutionised the way we sanitise our environment and has become an indispensable tool in our fight against the spread of infectious diseases, particularly in the healthcare sector. With new advances making the process easier and more efficient in sanitising hard-to-reach areas, it is likely to remain a vital tool for healthcare sanitation and disinfection in the future.
To learn more about the benefits of our UVGI solutions, please get in touch with our team.