Exploring the Power of UV Light: Types, Effects, and Utilization for Sanitization Purposes

We are all familiar with the term “UV light.” Most of us think of ultraviolet light in terms of sun exposure and sunburns. We understand that the earth’s ozone layer protects us from much of the radiation energy that the sun produces. Yet, we don’t often think of the beneficial effects of UV light — in our environment and upon every living organism.

sunny country landscape

The sun’s powerful rays can be harnessed for a number of helpful applications.
Image source: Flickr user Colby Stopa

What Is UV Light?

The presence of UV rays was discovered by Johann Ritter in 1801. By definition, ultraviolet light is invisible energy produced by the sun. The shorter the wavelength, the more energy (and potential for harm) is present. Fortunately, the earth’s atmosphere absorbs 95% of this radiation energy.

uv light spectrum

UV light is invisible to the eye, but greatly affects our world.

What Are the Pros & Cons of UV Light?

There are three types of UV light:

– UV-A (320-400 nm wavelength): This type of radiation can cause sunburn on the skin and cataracts in the eye. However, it also plays a helpful and essential role in helping the body form Vitamin D, which ensures that the body can absorb calcium to build strong bones. Vitamin D helps muscles move, nerves transmit information, and the immune system fight off invading pathogens.

UV-B (290-320 nm wavelength): This type of radiation can burn the skin or lead to skin cancer. That “drained” feeling of being out in the sun for too long is often caused by too much UV-B exposure. However, this ultraviolet light produces melanin in the body, which gives some people that bronze “tanned” look, and also helps the body form essential Vitamin D.

– UV-C (280-100 nm wavelength): This type of radiation is the most powerful, so it can also be the most harmful to DNA. On the plus side, UV-C radiation has the power to destroy unwanted pathogens like bacteria, fungi, and viruses. It is widely used in hospital sterilization, water sanitization, food preservation, air quality control, and home cleaning applications.

uvc light benefits

UVC light disturbs DNA, which helps in destroying harmful pathogens.

Harnessing the Power of UV Light at Home

One of the newer applications of UV radiation is to kill harmful organisms at home. Cleaning footwear has been a problem for years, since shoes tend to fall apart in the washing machine — or ruin our appliances, for that matter! Also, our washing machines do not heat up the water enough to be effective at truly killing dangerous pathogens, like MRSA and staph. Individuals who are concerned about toenail fungus, athlete’s foot, diabetic foot infections, and foot odor can especially benefit from the power of UV light. Keeping footwear sanitized is important in preventing recurrent infections, after all.

The SteriShoe UV Shoe Sanitizer uses powerful UV-C rays to kill up to 99.9% of the bacteria, fungi, and viruses in your footwear in just 45 minutes. Since ultraviolet light can be harmful if you look at it or bring it close to your skin, we have designed safety features into the SteriShoe sanitizer to prevent the lamp from activating when it is not enclosed in a shoe. Germicidal UV light is a safe, natural, proven, and easy way to kill pathogens. Try it risk-free for 30 days. If you’re not 100% satisfied, you can receive a full refund… although, we haven’t had to send one yet!