Today, there are numerous appliances available in the market which utilize potentially harmful materials such as UV lights. Some air purifiers are fitted with UV lights to assist in eradicating toxic particles from the air. Some experts opine that these gadgets are safe. However, before choosing them you need to ask yourself: Are air purifiers with UV lights safe?
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You can’t understand the probable UV air purifier dangers if you don’t know what a UV is. UV(ultraviolet) is a light spectrum that’s often invisible that comes with wavelengths. Sunlight also contains ultraviolet rays whose exposure causes sunburn on human skin. This means that UV rays can be dangerous both to you and your pets. There are various light rays that exist today such as gamma and X-ray rays which experts have termed as quite harmful to humans.
In the past, UV light was utilized to disinfect water, the air, and surfaces. If you are wondering whether this technology is effective when it comes to enhancing the quality of air in a home and eliminating airborne particles, this article will illustrate how UV air purifiers function and how effective they are when it comes to cleaning the air.
X-rays, for instance, are believed to be very harmful to humans even though they are important and have been widely utilized in the medical industry. X-rays are the ultimate example of toxic lights that are used for human benefit. Numerous safety standards should be executed during X-rays to prevent dangerous exposure. Humans have managed to control the need to utilize ultraviolet light for the purpose of enhancing health.
Ultraviolet light particularly UV-C light is said to be a germicidal light, meaning that it can destroy viruses and bacteria whenever they encounter them. UV however, can be toxic to human cells and both researchers and scientists have devised various ways of incorporating it in air purification strategies. Today, ultraviolet air purifiers available function appropriately in minimizing toxic particles from the air.
Understanding UV light air purifiers
Ultraviolet air purifiers are specially designed to utilize short-wave UV-C light for the purpose of inactivating airborne microorganisms and pathogens from the air such as bacteria, mold, and viruses. These gadgets play the same role as air purifiers when it comes to minimizing air pollutants. This technology is also known as UVGI air purifiers or ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, the technology differs from other air purifier technologies which come with UV light technology but don’t directly utilize it against air pollutants.
UV-C air purifiers available in the market today are freestanding or stand-alone gadgets or systems that are fitted in already existing commercial or residential HVAC units. When air penetrates through the gadget, it goes through the UV lamps which try to disinfect it directly through germicidal irradiation. Ozone could be produced during this process which is a growing cause for concern.
UV-C light air purifiers hardly come as stand-alone products and they require more systems for ultimate effectiveness. These gadgets are usually added in bigger HEPA filtration systems with the EPA suggesting that a ultraviolet-C air purifier may not be as effective as a standalone gadget seeing that it can’t eradicate or even confine airborne particles.
Is UV C light safe in air purifier?
There are various factors to consider when searching for an air purifier. While many ultraviolet air purifiers are safe for use, they generate ozone. Prolonged exposure to ozone is harmful to humans, plants, and animals. It’s important however to note that when produced in small quantities, ozone remains safe.
Still, there are numerous ultraviolet air purifiers in the market today which are ozone free according to manufacturers. The ultraviolet light available in various air purifiers is designed to burn and damage airborne particles whenever they get into contact. Some manufacturers overlay their bulbs using a unique substance which prevents them from generating excess ozone.
UV air purifiers are enclosed with plastic or dark metal which restricts ultraviolet light and radiation from penetrating through the open. There are numerous types and brands of air purifiers in the market today. Always exercise caution before purchasing your preferred gadget. You want to avoid gadgets that produce increased amounts of ozone.
A good way of identifying the ideal gadget involves researching and reading online reviews. You can get a first-hand insight into the product’s performance from people who have utilized it.
How UV light air purifiers utilize UV-C light
UV-C light is specially designed to act as a disinfectant in a UV-C air purification system activity. The UV-C light contains massive energy compared to visible light and is designed to convert molecules absorbed inside. UV-C light confines microorganisms around the ultraviolet light and destroys the DNA they require to survive. You can install UV-C air purifiers in varying degrees and in different ways for ultimate effectiveness.
Studies suggest that placing germicidal UV lights along the walls in a health center provided sufficient disinfectant processes without causing prolonged ultraviolet exposure side effects.
Does UV light kill mold?
Mold is a dangerous problem that many people experience in their homes. If your home is exposed to high moisture content, then you are likely to struggle with mold. There are various health fists affiliated with prolonged exposure to mold. Therefore, you should try to eradicate mold as fast as it forms just to be on the safe side health wise.
While you can utilize warm water and bleach to clean off areas infected by mold, doing so will not eliminate all the mold spores through surface cleaning only. This is where UV light comes in as they are designed to destroy both mold and mold spores. UV-C purifiers which generate UV light at the C-bandwidth are ideal for handling mold challenges. Any other UV light model may not destroy mold accordingly.
UVC-C lights have been used for long in hospitals in a bid to destroy and regulate mold and germs as American Air and Water reports. If you are set. UV lights are readily available and you can purchase them in your local store or online shops. Whenever you’re working with a UV light, remember to wear a pair of UV-opaque glasses or goggles to protect your eyes from toxic UV rays. You can find them online or at your local tanning salon.
Keep the light right in front of the mold stain but at least a foot away from the wall and switch it on. Leave the light on for up to two hours. You can turn off the rest of the lights as the UV lights execute its duties. You can leave the room and come back at the lapse of the set time in order to change the position of the gadget. You can repeat this process until you are satisfied or depending on the size of your home and the magnitude of mold stains.
Can air purifiers be harmful?
According to experts, conducting research prior to purchasing your preferred air purifier can save you from dangerous situations. As air purifiers become more popular, so are unreliable manufacturers who can try to dupe you into buying substandard items. This is why you should only purchase your air purifiers from reliable and reputable manufacturers or dealers.
Use of poor quality air purifiers can expose you to ozone which can be detrimental to your health. Still, you should factor in various things in your homes such as pets, kids, and people living with allergies. This is because using poor quality air purifiers can escalate allergic conditions in asthmatic people especially because they are the most vulnerable.
History of Ultraviolet Light
For years, germicidal UV light has been utilized in various industries for various purposes such as disinfecting kitchens, meat processing laboratories, and plants, treating tuberculosis, and sterilizing hospitals. Since 1908 for instance, UV-C light was used in France to sanitize municipal water supplies. Electromagnetic radiation assumes numerous forms such as ultraviolet light, radio waves, and visible light. Here is how various forms of light contain varying energy levels.
Various Forms of Light
Light is comprised of small particles referred to as photons. These photons vibrate as they traverse to and fro and in the process identify a wave in the atmosphere. Faster vibrations make the distance between each wave brief. Slower vibrations lengthen the distance the waves.
The wave to wave distance is referred to as the light’s wavelength. Slow vibrating photons with longer waves contain less energy while faster vibrating particles with shorter waves contain more energy. Various components across the globe reflect and incorporate various wavelengths of light as seen below.
- Infrared light is longer and you can feel it as heat. It comes with between 700-1 million nanometers.
- Visible light comes with between 400-700 nanometers long wavelength. This range can have an impact on your eye’s light receptors.
- Ultraviolet which you can neither see nor feel comes with between 100 to 400 nanometers. UV is shorter compared to visible light.
- Photons radiate electromagnetic energy when they come into contact with matter. Further, UV light contains increased energy levels.
- Ultraviolet light: UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C
- Ultraviolet is divided into 3 sections which are:
- UV-C light which contains between 100 – 280 nanometers complete with photons which vibrate the fastest and contains the most energy.
- UV-B light contains between 280 – 315 nanometers complete with fast vibrating photons.
- UV-A light contains between 315-400 nanometers complete with photons whose vibration speed is slightly higher compared to that of visible light.
If you are exposed to UVC light for a long time, you could experience temporary skin and eye damage. It’s therefore important to exercise caution when working around or directly with UVC lights. Currently, UV light is popularly utilized to supplement other conventional methods of disinfecting delicate medical and scientific spaces and equipment.
Some individuals today also utilize them in both commercial and residential applications. In the past two decades, the use of UV light has increased tremendously with experts saying that this trend will continue into the future. UV products are classified under the range of enhancing cleanliness while cutting down environmental pollution as compared to battling infections.
How UV air purifiers clean the air
UV-C light air purifiers are designed to utilize UV lights, which are designed to destroy microorganisms as mentioned above. The material used for the emitter determines the light color produced. Materials which can be used include quartz and phosphor. Residential areas, for instance, utilize mercury lights that generate UV-C light at a 254 nanometers wavelength according to studies conducted by EPA.
UV light air purifiers are formed by combining a strained air system and a filter. Here, the air purifier ultraviolet light combines with other systems to purify the air. In-house air penetrates into the unit and is aerated through a chamber where bulbs generate light in the UV-C frequency. Often, the UV lamp is stored below a filter inside a portable air purifier. A variety of factors can influence its functionality.
The UV-C light utilized in UV-C germicidal purifiers is glowy and silent. The glowing characteristic, however, depends on the casing fixed around it and the human eye can’t see it. Further, they are odorless and you should replace the UV bulbs at least once every year depending on your gadget’s model and make.
Are UV Air Purifiers Effective?
UV-C light is specially designed to destroy microbes. However, whether this process can be executed by a portable air purifier has not yet been proven. The potency of UV-C light when it comes to sterilizing the air depends on various factors such as:
- Whether the contaminants and the UV light come into contact
- The material used in the bulb to emit light
- Whether the light is hindered by the airflows’ cooling effect
- How long the contaminant has been exposed to the light.
If you are window shopping for the ultimate UV light air purifier, this guide should help you make a conclusive decision. Avoid UV air purifiers which generate ozone as they can jeopardize your health and that of your loved ones. In the absence of extreme exposure to ozone, UV-C air purifiers will provide you with adequate sterilization. Ensure that your gadget has a filter media to confine airborne particles.