Ultraviolet (UV) light is a type of electromagnetic radiation that has the potential to cause adverse health effects depending on the duration of exposure and the wavelength.
Erythema(sunburn), photokeratitis (a feeling of sand in the eyes), skin cancer, increased skin pigmentation (tanning), cataracts, and retinal burns are some of the potential risks associated with UV exposure. While most cases of skin cancer and the vast majority of UV exposure are caused by the sun, artificial sources of UV rays, such as UV lighting, can also be carcinogenic. Fortunately, there are ways to use UV lighting safely to mitigate the risk.
For instance, tanning beds can simply be avoided. Scientists have known for decades that a type of ultraviolet light known as UVC light quickly kills microbes, including bacteria and viruses. However, conventional germicidal UVC light cannot be used directly to destroy airborne viruses in occupied indoor spaces because it poses a potential danger to skin and eye health. So, is it safe to use UV light? The answer is yes, but you'll need special equipment and training to use UV lighting professionally in public settings. There are some residential applications of UV lighting that do not require training, but any large-scale commercial use will require instructions to ensure proper and safe use.
This could allow the tool to be used in many more places than UV lamps are currently used, which could have a widespread impact on reducing the spread of many infectious diseases. The study suggests that far ultraviolet light from lamps installed on the ceiling could be a very effective passive technology to reduce person-to-person transmission of airborne diseases, such as COVID and influenza, in indoor spaces, and reduce the risk of the next pandemic. Many sources report that disinfection with UV lighting is the best option and won't damage equipment as much as harsh chemical cleaners. Far UV light effectively inactivated influenza viruses, with approximately the same efficiency as conventional germicidal UV light.
How Can You Use UV Light Safely?When using UV light for disinfection purposes, it's important to take certain safety precautions. First and foremost, you should always wear protective gear such as gloves and goggles when handling or working with UV lights.
Additionally, you should never look directly at a UV light source or point it at someone else's eyes. It's also important to make sure that you're using the right type of UV light for your application. For instance, UVC lights are more effective at killing bacteria and viruses than other types of UV lights. However, they can also be more dangerous if not used properly. Finally, it's important to make sure that you're using the right amount of UV light for your application. Too much exposure can be dangerous, so it's important to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully.
ConclusionUV light can be a powerful tool for disinfecting surfaces and killing bacteria and viruses.
However, it's important to take certain safety precautions when using it. Make sure you wear protective gear such as gloves and goggles when handling or working with UV lights. Additionally, never look directly at a UV light source or point it at someone else's eyes. It's also important to make sure that you're using the right type of UV light for your application and that you're using the right amount of exposure. Following these guidelines will help ensure that you're using UV light safely and effectively.