UV disinfection is an increasingly popular residue-free method of killing or rendering harmless all micro-organisms (including bacteria, viruses, algae and protozoa) in a range of environments such as water, air and on surfaces.
UV disinfection works by utilising ultraviolet light emitted mainly at 254nm (billionth of a metre) by UV lamps in specially-designed systems, however light between wavelengths 254 and 265nm may be used for specific disinfection applications.
This high energy short-wavelength light quickly and effectively penetrates the surface/membrane around microbes and is absorbed by their RNA and DNA. This destroys nucleic acid in these cellular entities and prevents them from performing vital cellular functions, rendering them unable to replicate and harmless.
UV disinfection is a chemical-free process that leaves no harmful residue, unlike traditional chemical methods of air, surface and water disinfection. It is also effective rendering harmless microbes that have been seen to develop resistance to chemical disinfection such as Cryptosporidium. As such, it is a technology that is gaining in popularity and is being tested in numerous new applications.