There are many myths and misconceptions about the way that UV sanitization works. For thousands of years humans have been using the power of the sun to grow crops, obtain a healthy amount of Vitamin D, tell the time, dry clothing, and many other seemingly obvious tasks. As human knowledge continues to evolve we are gradually learning more about the power of the sun and all of the marvelous capabilities that it has. Could it have the power to rid the Earth of COVID-19? You might be surprised at the answer.
Things are not always as they seem. If we take a closer look at what ultraviolet light actually is, we begin to understand that light is not such a simple entity. Ultraviolet rays are electromagnetic radiation signals that generate from the sun. When these rays are at a safe rate, they are mildly destructive to humans and cause suntans and sunburns. When there is too much exposure of these rays they will damage tissue and cause major problems.
Needless to say, if we all tried to bottle up the strongest rays of the sun and use them to destroy a virus, we would ultimately cause more damage to ourselves than the virus ever could.
The theory that we can actually use UV light to fight off germs is that ultraviolet rays come from a concept that explains there are three general types of UV light.
UVA rays, also known as near UV rays, do not have as much energy as UVB rays. UVA rays have a longer wavelength and can penetrate the protective ozone barrier that keeps the rest of the rays from burning us up. UVB rays can also penetrate the epidermis and reach the center layer of the skin. These rays are accredited to various types of skin cancers that develop as a result of humans spending too much time unprotected in the sun.
UVB rays, also known as middle UV rays, carry slightly more energy than the UVA rays but have a shorter wavelength. Scientists believe that UVB rays cause sunburn and that they can cause malignant melanoma cancer.
UVC rays, also known as far UVC rays, contain the highest level of energy of all three UV light types. Although the energy is high, it has a much shorter wavelength than the others. What this means is that it can not penetrate the ozone layer of the earth and is not present on the planet in its natural state. This is a good thing because the level of energy that it possesses is enough to destroy tissue and burn everything that it touches. The only way that we can use far UVC rays is to create artificial rays with the use of modern technology.
Far UVC 222
Ultraviolet light makes its way through space at certain wavelengths. These wavelengths are measured in nanometers. Far UVC has the lowest wavelength out of all of the UV types, however, it is too powerful of a form of radiation for organic matter to be able to withstand.
The depth of the wavelength is what determines how far the light can penetrate matter. Our skin can be burnt to a crisp and severely damaged if we are exposed to this light. However, if the light’s wavelength can be manipulated to not go beyond a certain point, it is harmless to the tissue but strong enough to sanitize anything on the surface of the skin.
The number 222 represents the number of nanometers that the ultraviolet light has in respect to the wavelength. This number can be lowered, or increased depending on the variants of the desired outcome. Typically, UVC light will have a 254 nm wavelength. The problem with this number is that it is deep enough to penetrate the eyes and cause damage to the tissue within.
What technology has been able to achieve is a way to harness the power of far UVC 222 into a safe, usable form of ultraviolet light that has the capacity to stop viruses, pathogens, and other germs in their tracks.
UVC Rays and Coronavirus
Although it may sound as if the UVC rays attack the virus and burn it in the same way that it burns human skin, it is not exactly like that. As the pathogens make their way through the atmosphere, and land upon surfaces, clothing, and even our skin if there is far UVC light present it will inactivate the virus.
If the far UVC rays are of the 222 nm wavelength, the light will gently touch the surface of the skin and the rest of the surfaces that it reaches without harming the tissue.
It is an extraordinarily powerful discovery that science was able to unveil and share with the rest of the world. What it means is that UV rays can potentially cut down a significant amount of spread through the air, and surfaces without harming humans.
In order for a virus to carry on and spread from one host to the next, it has to be able to reproduce and keep the momentum flowing. The UV light inactivates the cells so that they are no longer able to multiply. If they can’t multiply, they become harmless.
Since COVD-19 is such a deadly virus for some people, and not much of a threat to others it is difficult for people that do not understand the nature of the virus to see how seriously it needs to be taken. Each and every step that we take in order to defend ourselves, and others from contracting the virus is helpful to the ultimate solution to the problem, which is eliminating the virus altogether.
The Potential for Eradicating the Virus
In order for UV light to completely eradicate the virus, it would have to be able to reach every crevice, corner, nook, and cranny of the earth. Since the UVC 222 rays can only touch the surface of the skin without injuring the body, there is no way to use the light to stop the virus when it is inside of a person.
Although far UVC 222 is theoretically safe for all humans, there are still some risks involved with its use. If the technology that is producing the light is faulty and fails to release the light at the correct wavelength, it could be devastating for a crowd of people. Whenever an establishment chooses to utilize UVC lighting in wide spaces among clusters of people they need to make sure that the equipment they are using is of the highest quality and the most delicately calibrated source. Far UVC rays can be painfully dangerous, and even deadly.
If every human on the planet took the extra precautions that can help to stop the spread of the virus, such as handwashing, social distancing, and being careful to not spread the virus if we have it everybody would benefit. The use of hand sanitizers, healthy soaps, and antibacterial wipes can go along hand in hand with far UVC lighting. With all of these efforts underway, we have a much better chance of beating the virus and being rid of it for good. We all just need to do our parts.
In the End
So in answer to the question “does UV sanitization kill COVID-19?” The answer is no. What it does is stop it from being able to reproduce, therefore allowing it to die a natural death without being able to spread. In a sense, it kills the virus, but not in a direct sort of way.