For over a century scientists have known that certain frequencies of light have a devastating effect on microbial life. We now know that exposure to ultraviolet light in the range of 254 NM (UV-C band) disrupts the DNA of micro-organisms thus preventing them from reproducing, thereby effectively killing them.
UV light disinfection is now widely used in hospitals and laboratories to sanitize instruments and work surfaces and to prevent the spread of potentially lethal airborne infectious diseases. The technology is used by the food industry to sterilize food before packaging and water treatment systems large and small now incorporate UV light as a chemical-free means of purification.
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Because the frequency of UV-C light is filtered out by the Earth's atmosphere microorganisms have no defense against it. It works by scrambling their DNA which prevents them from reproducing.
According to the EPA indoor air pollution is often five times worse than outdoor and represents a significant health risk. UV-C improves indoor air quality by sterilizing mold, bacteria, viruses, and allergens from the air as it cycles through the central air system.
Niels Finsen was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology in 1903 in recognition of his contribution to the treatment of diseases, especially lupus vulgaris, with UV-C light.
"Black lights" are harmless fun
Most effective at killing microbes
Ultraviolet (UV) light is a range of light frequencies that are mostly invisible to the human eye. The UV-C band is most effective at killing germs because its short wavelength is able to penetrate the cell walls of microorganisms and scramble their DNA. Also, UV-C is filtered out by the earth's atmosphere so microbes have no defense against it.