The use of ultraviolet light (UV) for germicidal irradiation is not a new idea. UV has been used for disinfection since the mid-20th century, with beginnings even earlier when sunlight was investigated for bactericidal effects in the mid-19th century. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s used for drinking and wastewater treatment, air disinfection, the treatment of fruit and vegetable juices, as well as a myriad of home devices for disinfecting everything from toothbrushes to tablet computers. Within research facilities, UV has been an option when purchasing Biological Safety Cabinets for years, and can also be used within ductwork.
UV technology has advanced in recent years to become more reliable. Ballasts being used today are able to maintain the power output of UV bulbs for far longer than in the past. UV bulbs today have rated lifespans in the thousands of hours. This has allowed UV systems to become more viable for wide ranging use.
The use of UV has recently grown within the healthcare industry to provide disinfection of room surfaces in addition to existing cleaning methods. The use of ultraviolet light for surface disinfection within research facilities has started to increase as well due to its ease of use, short dosage times, and broad efficacy.