Enhancing disinfection to create safer environments is a priority for every business, school, and facility. Many are turning to UV-C disinfection due to its high efficacy rate, ability to disinfect both surfaces and air without harmful chemical exposure, and minimal application time and effort.
However, as the novel coronavirus pandemic has sparked an influx of UV-C disinfection products to market, knowing where to start and how to make an informed investment decision can be challenging. To help, we’ve outlined a few key considerations to ensure you’re selecting the best UV-C device for your environment.
1. Evaluating the efficacy of UV-C disinfection devices
A wealth of scientific and medical studies exist proving the efficacy of UV-C in disinfecting surfaces, water, and air against a whole host of human pathogens. In fact, to date, there are no known UV-resistant microorganisms (viruses and bacteria) on the planet. However, when it comes to evaluating the efficacy of different UV-C disinfection systems, a lack of uniform performance standards can make it difficult to cut through the noise and make truly informed, science-based investment decisions.
What should you look for?
The short answer: third-party testing data. In the absence of uniform performance standards, current medical and science best practices are to conduct real-world, lab simulated experiments with live microorganisms – ideally, by an International Standards Organization (ISO) accredited, independent third party laboratory. Tests should also be performed to applicable ASTM (E3135-18 and E1053-11) standards. This type of testing can be time-consuming and costly, making it an unattractive step for many manufacturers of UV equipment.
Ask for proof regarding efficacy claims, and whether the product was tested against live microorganisms by an accredited third-party lab. If a product claims to have impressive disinfection results, but is unable to provide scientific data to substantiate those claims – consider it a red flag. Learn more about evaluating the efficacy of UV-C systems.
2. Safety features
UV-C is a powerful germicidal agent and can be harmful to human skin and eyes if exposed. As such, look for UV-C products with built-in safety mechanisms to minimize risk and ensure zero exposure. Important safety capabilities include long-range motion detection and automatic shut off (in the event someone accidentally walks into the room during a cycle), cycle timers with automatic shut off, and built-in timing delays allowing operators plenty of time to exit a room before a cycle begins.
In addition to advanced safety features, you’ll want to inquire about on-boarding, safety training for your team, and the company’s expertise in developing custom implementation plans and protocols, ensuring the highest level of success for your organization.
3. Performance: UV-C intensity and cycle time
One of the many advantages UV-C systems have over manual disinfection and chemical sprayers include faster disinfection times. However, not all UV-C systems emit the same UV-C intensity, commonly referred to as dosage, which impacts how fast they can disinfect a room. In general, UV-C systems that emit higher doses can disinfect rooms faster. When considering UV-C systems, ask for performance data, including dosage emissions and cycle times required to inactivate harmful pathogens.
4. Increased visibility into disinfection activities
Today, the process of monitoring and verifying disinfection activities is manual and expensive. Most organizations can’t hire additional staff to monitor activities and this lack of oversight introduces risk. A critical component of a successful infection prevention program is having real-time insights into disinfection activities, proving where and when each occurred.
Bluetooth, LTE-M, and GPS connectivity within a UV-C system can offer this much-needed visibility – providing an auditable trail of disinfection activities inside your organization. For instance, your team will always know the device’s position in a room, which staff member ran the UV-C cycle, how long the cycle ran for, and what room the cycle occurs.
Achieving this new level of increased visibility means you can confirm disinfection activities are being performed accurately and provide definitive proof that your environment has been properly disinfected.
Navigating the crowded UV-C market can appear daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. With an understanding of what to look for, you can select the right UV-C disinfection system to make your environment safer. And if you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask. To learn more, check out 6 commonly asked questions about UV-C disinfection.
At R-Zero, we’re committed to making the best hospital-grade disinfection technologies accessible to all organizations, and sharing information to help evolve your infection prevention strategies. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
R-Zero Arc: A Hospital-Grade UV-C Device Designed for Businesses and Schools
R-Zero is bringing hospital-grade disinfection to businesses and schools with our flagship UV-C device, the Arc. The R-Zero Arc, proven to destroy 99.99% of surface and airborne pathogens, can disinfect a 1,000 sq. ft. room—in just 7 minutes. Learn more about using UV-C to disinfect your facility.
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