Given the current situation of the Coronavirus outbreak, most people would engage in more frequent office cleaning services or stream into the electrical appliances store to get a UV (Ultraviolet) device to sterilise your home, or even your workplace. UVC (Ultraviolet-C) radiation is known to be an effective disinfectant for air, water and nonporous surfaces. It has been used for decades to reduce the spread of contaminants or bacteria, but how should a person utilise it for his or her benefit is important as UVC can be a double-edged sword to the user.
UVC radiation from devices (especially lamps) that is used for disinfection purposes may pose a potential health and safety risk. However, this depends on one’s exposure to the wavelength, dose and duration of radiation. Direct exposure to the skin and eyes may cause burns on the skin and even painful eyes. UVC lamps also produce ozone which irritates the airways. It can also degrade certain materials such as plastic, polymers and dyed textiles. A broken UVC lamp is also dangerous as UVC lamps contain mercury and that is toxic even in small amounts.
In certain cases, chronic exposure to UV light can also be hazardous. It is known as a risk factor to develop skin cancer and cataracts.
To circumvent this, always check with the manufacturer on the critical points stated above. Always keep UV products out of reach from children and ensure the product adheres to a safety standard in order to be used at home or in your workplace. Where the device will be placed is critical as this will avoid accidental exposure.
Lastly, UVC has limited publication on their effect against the new Coronavirus, known as COVID19. Although it is known that UVC radiation inactivates its predecessor SARS-Coronavirus, little is known about COVID19 and scientists are trying their best in understanding this new virus.
UVC may not be your answer as an all-round disinfectant but it sure does reduce any other contaminants within an enclosed space. It would be advised to consult or engage a professional office cleaning services company to assist you in your office cleaning and office disinfection works.