How Does UV Light Disinfection Work

How Does UV Light Disinfection Work

Ultraviolet (UV) light is a type of electromagnetic radiation that is invisible to the human eye. UV light has been used for over 100 years to disinfect surfaces and kill harmful microorganisms. The germicidal properties of UV light have been well-established, and its use has increased in recent years as businesses look for ways to reduce the spread of infection. Here’s a brief overview of how UV light disinfection works.

How UV Light Disinfection Works

UV light disinfection damages microorganisms’ DNA or RNA so they can no longer reproduce. This process is known as “inactivation.” The UV light must come into direct contact with the microorganism for inactivation.

UV light can be used for disinfection: UVA, UVB, and UVC. 


How Does UV Light Disinfection Work

*nm= 0.000000001 meters or 1×10-9 meters


It is the longest wavelength, lowest energy form of UV radiation that makes up 95% of what reaches us on Earth. Despite its weaker intensity than other categories, it still has an impact – think more tanned skin but also premature aging and wrinkles along with a risk for possible spates of skin cancer, according to recent research from the American Cancer Society.


UV-B radiation can tantalize your skin with a golden tan and make you feel the warmth of its rays—but it’s not all sunshine! Its high-energy form penetrates deep into our dermis and is linked to premature aging and deadly cancers. Fortunately for us though, only 5% of solar UV-B reaches Earth due to natural atmospheric filtering.


The shortest and most potent type of UV radiation, Category C light, has the potential to wreak havoc on our planet. Thankfully, it is almost completely blocked from reaching us by Earth’s protective ozone layer! Yet instead of fear-mongering about this intense form of light, we have used its germ-fighting abilities for good in hospitals, public vehicles, and even airborne pathogens through advanced technology.

UV Light Disinfection Systems

UV light disinfection systems come in a variety of shapes and sizes. However, the two most common types are whole-room systems and portable devices.

Whole-room systems are typically installed in commercial settings such as hospitals, schools, and office buildings. These systems use long tubes or bulbs that emit UVA and UVC light. 

Portable devices are smaller and can be used in commercial and residential settings. These devices emit either UV-A, UV-B, or UVC light and must be held close to the surface that is being disinfected. In addition, some portable devices come with attachments that allow them to reach hard-to-clean areas such as crevices and corners.

UV light disinfection is a safe, effective way to kill harmful microorganisms on surfaces. The process damages the DNA or RNA of bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens so they can no longer reproduce.

While UVC light is the most effective type of UV light for disinfection, it cannot be used directly on people or animals because it is harmful to the skin and eyes. As a result, most UV disinfection systems use a combination of UV-C and UV-B light. Of these, UVC is the most effective at killing microorganisms. However, The downside is that once the UV starts to get dusty, which can happen quickly, it will lose efficiency and significantly impact the light bulb’s irradiation. In addition, the dust that is covering the UV bulb will cause it to be less effective in sanitizing. Finally, shadowing is a common issue with UV technology. Distance and exposure time to the light is required to be effective. 

Sanitizing Surfaces Solutions

If you are looking for a surface sanitizer that can reach challenging areas and long distances. UV technology would not be the solution for that application. When providing long-distance surface treatment (treatment far away from the device), the AirROS air & surface purifier uses ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) technology to destroy and prevent contaminants on all surfaces organically. The AirROS system is a 3-in-1 system. These systems can purify the air, sanitize long-distance surfaces, and simultaneously provide odor control 24/7 while people are in the room. AirROS can remove more than 90% of all bacteria and viruses (including coronavirus), in real-world results, making it one of the most effective air purifiers. In addition, these systems can kill COVID-19 on the air and surfaces within 45 minutes or less in the real world (not just in a lab) – that is a complete kill!

How Does AirROS Commercial Air Purification Work?

AirROS purifiers utilize and create ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species). First, it kills pathogens and odor as it passes through the air purifier. In addition, it sanitizes the air that comes out of the purifier, enters the environment, and continues to sanitize all surfaces it contacts. Here are the 2 stage process:

Phase 1- Primary Air Cleaning

Placed within your room’s airflow, air from the environment containing microorganisms enters the purifier’s internal chamber. The reaction chamber creates non-thermal plasma and generates ROSROS is comprised of 5 short-lived, highly Reactive Oxygen Species:

  • Atomic oxygen O(3P)
  • Singlet oxygen 1O2
  • Hydroxyl radical .OH
  • Superoxide O2-
  • Peroxynitrite ONOO-

These break down carbon-to-carbon bonds that sanitize the air and destroy all bacteria, molds, viruses, and other pathogens as they pass through the reaction chamber.

Phase 2- Secondary Surface & Air Cleaning

Provides Surface sanitation and continued Air sanitation. The purified air now diffused into the environment contains longer lived Reactive Oxygen Species:

These combine and create Hydrogen Trioxide (H2O3) an Active Antimicrobial formed through the peroxone process. This H2O3 is very effective at sanitizing surfaces and air 24/7.

So again, in addition to treating the ambient air as it passes through the reaction chamber, using the H2O2 and O3 diffused into the environment, creating H2O3, an active antimicrobial, our units will sanitize all Surfaces and control Odor, resulting in cleaner air and environment 24/7.

If you are looking for a solution to disinfect all surfaces, AirROS is the best option. Our purifiers are more effective than UV light disinfection alone, and AirROS uses Trioxidane created from dry hydrogen peroxide and safe, low ozone levels. Contact us today to learn more about AirROS and how we can help you improve your indoor air quality.