UV is an abbreviation for ultraviolet light. It is produced naturally by the sun and is present in the environment; however, humans cannot see it because its wavelength is too short to be detected by the structures in the eye. Ultraviolet light is very intense. When produced by the sun, it is powerful enough to damage the skin and is the cause of the red inflammation that we commonly call "sunburn."
What Is a UV Sanitizer?
Although UV can have harmful effects in its natural form, it also can provide benefits because of its powerful radiation. When bacteria and other microorganisms are exposed to ultraviolet light, the radiation can penetrate the protective outer coverings of their cells. When the radiation reaches the inside of the microorganisms' cells, it damages their DNA and causes them to die. Scientists first discovered that UV had the ability to kill harmful microorganisms at the end of the 19th century, and ultraviolet light has long been used to help disinfect drinking water. Now, scientists have developed UV sanitizers, devices that produce ultraviolet light and use it to destroy microorganisms. These devices can be purchased here at drugstore.com for use at home, at work and while out in public.
Types of UV Sanitizers
There are two main types of UV sanitizers available on the market.
The first type is the air UV sanitizer. This device is hung inside a room. A fan inside the sanitizer draws air into the device, where ultraviolet light is passed through it in order to kill microorganisms that may have entered it when a person coughed or sneezed.
The second type of UV sanitizer is a hand-held device that shines UV light when switched on. The hand-held devices are utilized to kill microorganisms on flat surfaces like counter tops or toilet seats and on everyday objects like toothbrushes and telephones.
Important Considerations When Using UV Sanitizers
No UV sanitizer is capable of completely eliminating all microorganisms from the air, a flat surface or an object. While using a UV sanitizer may help reduce microorganisms on surfaces or in the air, it cannot completely prevent you from becoming ill. Washing your hands frequently and covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough are still important for helping to prevent illness, even if you use a UV sanitizer.
A UV sanitizer is only effective at killing microorganisms when used correctly. Be sure to read the instructions that accompany your UV sanitizer to ensure best results. Some devices will require you to change the UV light periodically. Follow the recommended replacement schedule to maintain the effectiveness of the UV sanitizer.