Pros and Cons of Ultraviolet Rays
What are the Ultraviolet (UV) Rays?
UV Rays is a type of light that has a higher frequency and lower wavelength than visible light. UV radiation comes naturally from the sun, but it can also be created by artificial sources used in industry, commerce, and recreation.
There are 3 types of UV Rays which were differentiated by their wavelength:
- UVA (315-400 nm)
- UVB (280-315 nm)
- UVC (100-280 nm)
Most of the UVA and a little of UVB reaches the earth by sunlight.
When it comes to sterilization, only UVC has high enough energy to effectively kill microorganisms.
What are the Pros of UV Rays?
1. No chemicals
UV Ray is convenient to use and no chemicals are needed. Therefore, you won't leave any chemical residue behind.
2. Kills microorganism
UV Ray is able to kill all kinds of microorganisms, including drug-resistant bacteria. Therefore, artificial UV Rays were used as sterilization tools. UV rays penetrate the cell's membrane, destroying the DNA, and so stops its ability to reproduce and multiply.
UV from the sun is needed by our bodies to produce Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps strengthen bones, muscles, and the body’s immune system. It may also lower the risk of getting some kinds of cancers such as colon cancer. An appropriate exposure in the sunlight will make us healthy.
What are the Cons of UV Rays?
UV is dangerous to humans. That is why UV sterilization is usually done using UVC lamps with protective shields. Remember to avoid direct exposure to UVC, especially skin and eyes. Furthermore, excessive exposure to the sunlight which contains UVA and UVB will also impact human health, causes skin cancer or sunburn.
2. Blocked by object
UV only works in its light path and can be blocked by objects. Make sure what you want to be sterilized is directly in line with the UV light. You can minimize this issue by using multiple UV bulbs to generate UV irradiation from different angles. Therefore, choosing suitable sterilizing equipment is very important.
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In conclusion, Ultraviolet Ray may be useful but it will also cause damages. Therefore, try to avoid direct exposure or body contact while using UV Ray for sterilizing purposes.