6 Things To Know Before Using UV Germicidal Lamp at Home
Does anyone know why dust mites exist? How these tiny creatures just have to feed on the flakes of the human skin? No matter how I clean my room, they don’t seem to vanish. I exasperated as I ate with my friends during lunch week. One of them suggested using a Germicidal Lamp. I knew very little about it, so I searched the net for a better understanding and found a lot of interesting things.
There are 6 things to know before you use UV Germicidal Lamp at Home
- What are Germicidal Lamps and How do They Work?
- When do We Use Germicidal Lamps?
- What are the Functions of Germicidal Lamps?
- How to Use Germicidal Lamps?
- Warnings in Using Germicidal Lamps
- Safety Tips for Using Germicidal Lamps
Let's dive into the details below:
#1: What are Germicidal Lamps and How do They Work?
Apparently, a germicidal lamp does not only effectively kill dust mites but also bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. This type of lamp is different from a regular lamp. It produces ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVC) light which forms covalent bonds between certain adjacent bases in the Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid (DNA)- also often referred to as “the building blocks of life” of microorganisms. The formation of such bonds prevents the organisms to perform vital cellular functions like being unzipped for replication. The organism then is no longer a threat since it can’t reproduce inside a host, thereby rendering it good as dead. In fact, the organism even dies when it tries to replicate. Germicidal UVC lamp claims to kill up to 99.9% of most viruses, mold and bacteria.
There are two main types of germicidal lamps. The first one is called Low Pressure lamps which is the most common. These types of lamp are almost always fluorescent but without the phosphor and the glass is made from fused quarts. The lack of phosphor lets the short-wave UVC light range to leave the lamp unaltered. High pressure lamps are just like low pressure lamps but its output have a high intensity in a wider range of UV light. These are often used where a large area needs to be disinfected.
#2: When Do We Use Germicidal Lamps?
Many faces different threats in their daily life, including various contaminants and toxins. Most of us know that air pollutants outside like smog or car exhaust are toxic, but many of us are not aware of how harmful the air inside buildings can be for our safety. According to EPA, over recent years, an increasing body of scientific evidence has shown that air can be more severely contaminated over homes and other buildings than outdoor air in even the largest and most developed cities and yet we spend 80% in average of our time at our home.
Various micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses, mold, and protozoa can become airborne and this is a serious cause of disease or allergy. Allergens are a biological reaction to things that we inhale or breathe in, which our immune system would not like. Killing dust mites, algae, fungus, bacteria and viruses is a must if you're a pet owner. The eradication of airborne pathogens becomes much more critical, with the possibility of biological warfare.
#3: What Are the Functions of Germicidal Lamps?
Germicidal UVC lamps are used in a variety of applications, where the primary concern is sterilization, such as surface, air, and water purification. Let us go through the different functions of a germicidal lamp.
- It acts as an all-purpose UVC clean lamp. Germicidal lamps have been used safely across the world in kitchens, quilts, pillows, bath towels, storage spaces, HVAC ducts, garages, warehouses, classrooms, labs, hospitals and other industrial and residential environments-wherever a concern for clean air is needed.
- It kills dust mites. Dust mites are tiny creatures that are invisible to the naked eye, they are everywhere in the house on the bed, pillow, sofa, carpet, and they cause many harms. Allergy to dust mites is an allergic reaction to small bugs typically present in house dust. Signs of allergy to dust mites include the ones typical to hay fever, such as sneezing and runny nose. Many people with allergy to dust mites often show symptoms of asthma, such as wheezing and breathing problems. Dust mites, close relatives of ticks and spiders, are too small for a microscope to see. Dust mites eat skin cells that people shed, and flourish in warm, humid environments. In most households, the perfect climate for dust mites is provided by products such as bedding, upholstered furniture and carpets. The UV-C ray of germicidal lamp is hundreds of times stronger than sunshine; almost instantly, they will destroy the dust mites.
- It also kills bacteria. Respiratory problems may arise when mold, mildew, dust mite and bacteria are allowed to release their spores. Physicians have long warned against breathing in mold. Our homes and workplaces often get infested with toxic mold and mildew. Doctors will warn you that there are significant respiratory problems caused by air pollution, dust mites, bacteria, fungi, such as, memory loss, hearing loss and lung bleeding. This lamp can easy kill bacteria include: mold, Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, Pet parvovirus, influenza virus, etc. Ultraviolet light breaks them up into water and oxygen. Germicidal UVC lamps can kill up to 99.9 percent of mold and help stop potential growth of molds. Mold spores are generally much harder to kill than microorganisms and viruses, and thus require a higher dosage of UVC light.
- It removes odor. This lamp will remove odors like smoky smell in the kitchen, musty smell in the bedroom and unpleasant smell in the washroom, box of shoes, fridge, trash can, etc., this lamp will eliminate odor. UV-C rays will destroy the odor-causing bacteria and the ozone can easily kill and oxidatively decompose substances with organic or inorganic odors.
- It cleans the air. Germicidal lamp will break down tiny substances in the air, eliminate allergens that can trigger asthma and allergies, destroy pollutants that trigger colds, flushes, allergies, sinus infection, rendering the air fresher. Dirty air is the chief culprit in causing discomfort to the human body, use of this UVC bulb twice a week is very necessary. Treating air that passes through an HVAC unit with ultraviolet light can minimize or remove airborne pollutants (bacteria, viruses, mold spores, yeast, protozoa) based on DNA, and provide much safer breathing air.
- It can also be equipped to produce ozone. Some germicidal lamps produce ozone and some does not. Most of the time you do not need ozone but it actually depends on your particular need. UVC lamps with ozone are commonly used to help ‘carry’ ultraviolet radiation in areas where the UV rays normally could not reach directly. Germicidal UVC lamps emit energy both at 185 nanometers and at 254 nm. This UVC emission produces abundant amounts of ozone in air. Ozone is an incredibly active oxidizer and on meeting, it kills micro-organisms. Ozone works as a deodorant, too.
- UV lamps also provide a safe, efficient way to treat water. Unlike the traditional way of treating and disinfecting water which is sometimes hazardous and cause pollution in rivers, lake and other water bodies this UVC lamp is safe, environmentally friendly and cost-effective for water purification in applications such as water reclamation, waste water, drinking water, industrial and commercial process water, pool and spa, aquaculture and life sciences.
#4: How to Use Germicidal Lamps?
The lethal action of UVC lamps on microorganisms is simply the product of time duration and its intensity. The inverse square law of light also applies to UVC: As the distance from the lamp decreases, its killing power increases. Low intensities but for a long period of time are fundamentally equal to high intensities but for a short period of time.
The time required to turn the UVC bulb on differs on the size of the room or space in order for it to work. For goods surface, put goods within 4 ft of the light, such as cups, bottles, toothbrushes, shaver, cell phones, keyboards, clothes and turn the bulb on for five (5) minutes once. For small space, such as shoe cabinet, drawer, toy box, wardrobe turn the bulb on for five (5) minutes once. For a small room, less than 200 sq. ft, such as toilet, storage room, dog/chicken house turn the bulb on for fifteen (15) minutes once. For a larger room, around 400 sq. ft., such as kitchen, living room and bedroom, turn the bulb on for fifteen to 60 (15-60) minutes once.
There are two methods of air disinfection. The first method is Upper Air Irradiation. In this method, the germicidal UVC lamps is suspended above in a room, at least 7ft. above the floor to assure that people will not bump into them and it is above eye level. The second method of air disinfection requires the UVC lamps within air ducts of ventilation system. This type of an in-duct germicidal fixture is recommended for rooms with low ceiling. Since it is installed inside air ducts, away from people, it can have high levels of intensity.
#5: Warnings in Using Germicidal Lamps
UVC light, once directly exposed to humans, pets and plants can be harmful. Germicidal lamps should not be used in any application that was not designed specifically to prevent exposure to humans. UV light in general is harmful to both skin and cornea and retina of the eyes, which may lead to temporary or permanent vision impairment. The effect could be acute or chronic. After a few hours of exposure, the acute effects appear, while chronic effects can show after years of the exposure and it can have a long-term effect. But all of this can be easily prevented if we follow the safety guidelines usually provided when buying the product.
In occasions where long term exposure of germicidal UVC lamp is needed, it is to be noted that it can shorten the shelf life of plastics by almost 10%. Example, if the plastic would usually last for 10 years but due to permanent exposure to plastic, its life span is reduced to 9 years. Plants may also be damaged by direct or reflected germicidal UVC rays.
#6: Safety Tips for Using Germicidal Lamps
For safety reasons, always keep the lamp in the protective case or cover until installation. In case of heavy installment, wear a PPE which includes goggles, face mask, gloves, and buttoned up coat. Do not use lamp near combustible material like paper or cloth. While the lamp is turned on, do not touch the lamp or gaze into the light directly. People, pet and plant must leave the room when the lamp is working. As much as possible the light generated should be enclosed. Turn off the bulb before approaching it and let it cool down for at least 15 minutes. Use proper air ventilation with lamps that emits ozone. When not in use, store it in its protective case. Clean UVC from time to time with a dry cotton cloth or paper towel. Wear rubber gloves and clean with alcohol only. This will help maximize its lifetime. In case the lamp gets broken, take usual precautions for collecting broken glass and clean it up to avoid mercury vapor. Place broken glass in a closed container. Be sure to wash your hands after removing your gloves.
An atmosphere which is toxic will make you sick. Germicidal lamp disinfects air that passes directly in contact with its UV rays killing all the viruses, bacteria and protozoa. Musty odors of the moldy kind, along with tuberculosis, cold and flu viruses, and other airborne diseases may be eradicated. Such air purification devices are of particular benefit to allergy sufferers (common allergens are molds, mildew and fungi). Because of these inherent benefits, Germicidal Lamps are becoming popular choice for homes and even industries that require surface, air and water sterilization.
For me, Germicidal Lamps almost stop all signs of itch from dust mites. I like a good and comfortable sleep after heavy work at my job so I will have to pay for that wonderful part of life. So, if you have allergies or asthma, itching eyes, coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, headache, and fatigue. Germicidal light can help you achieve extremely high sterilization rate, improving health and breathing conditions at a safe, simple, and cost-effective solution.