UV Light May Help Keep Us Safe
UV light has long been used for sanitizing surfaces to prevent viruses and germs. As a WebMD Post reports, the COVID-19 pandemic has put UV in the spotlight. COVID-19 is such a young strain of coronavirus, that the verdict is still out regarding proof of what works most effectively to destroy it, but UV light has been used successfully to stop the spread of other forms of coronavirus. Though there is currently no guarantee that UV is a definitive weapon against this new, novel coronavirus currently threatening us, the fact that UVs sanitizing effect against similar viruses has been documented is encouraging.
In any case, keeping our respiratory systems healthy by breathing cleaner air could fuel our resistance to infectious agents and spur our ability to recover quickly from viral infections. The initial results of research show great promise toward determining whether UV could be the key we need to conquer COVID-19. Unfortunately, research at many facilities was stalled due to preventive measures of isolation enacted, ironically, to limit spread of the virus.
What Exactly is UV Light?
UV light is similar to visible light, but has different wavelengths that make it invisible to us. UV light is divided into 3 categories according to its wavelength. The UV light we absorb from the sun helps us produce vitamin D, but can also cause sunburn. Care must be taken when using UV for other purposes also. UV air cleaners contained within HVAC systems are innately safe. Care must be taken when using UV stand-alone units.
- UV-A is not absorbed by the ozone layer.
- UV-B is mostly absorbed by the ozone layer; some reaches the earth's surface.
- UV-C is completely absorbed by the ozone layer and atmosphere.