UV air purifiers, sometimes referred to as UV light air purifiers remove harmful bacteria from the air through the use of UV-C radiation.
UV air purifiers destroy germs through the use of UV light – specifically UV-C light, similar to the radiation produced by the sun. Working on a wavelength of 100-279nm, UV-C light has long been used in the medical field to reduce the spread of bacteria.
Typically, UV purification is used in conjunction with a physical filter, such as a HEPA filter, which traps the airborne viruses and bacteria – giving the UV light enough time to destroy them. Air purifiers with UV light features can greatly reduce the possibility of reintroducing bacteria into your environment when changing your filters.
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As UV air purifiers use radiation to destroy pathogenic microorganisms some people are lead to ask if they’re safe to use in the home. Most UV air purifiers come with a coated lamp to prevent radiation from escaping the unit and ozone blocks that reduce the emissions of ozone to insignificant levels. However in Australia Education Victoria recommends against their use in classrooms due to potential health risks.
Whilst studies have shown UV light could destroy 97.7% of pathogens in hospital operating rooms – there’s been some questions raised around the effectiveness of UV air purifiers against some pathogens like Covid-19. Studies have shown that a dose of 75mJ/cm2 is needed to kill >99.9% of the COVID-19 virus and some UV air purifiers on the market aren’t powerful enough to deliver such a dose.