uv light

CAN AN ULTRA-VIOLET LAMP SAVE US DURING THIS CORONA PANDEMIC?

Apart from air purifiers, the next common gadget in your dental practice is a UV lamp or UV tower.

Prolonged exposure to UV light is harmful. But recent research has found a specific zone in the UV light which is harmful to pathogens and harmless to humans. Let’s dig deep into it.

TYPES OF UV

The normal range of UV light ranges from 100 to 400nm. They are below the visible range of the light spectrum.

WHO has published an interesting article on types of UV radiation. Scientists observed 3 forms of UV light.

UVA (315nm – 400nm)

The longer wavelength UV light is the most common component in solar radiation. It can penetrate through the human skin to its full extent.

Most common radiation causes skin cancer.

UVB (280nm – 315nm)

The medium wavelength UVB light is reflected by the ozone layer of the earth. It is harmful to humans and can cause skin cancer. Most of its radiation can penetrate only the superficial layers of skin.

UVC (100nm – 280nm)

Almost 99% of UVC radiation is reflected by the ozone layer of the earth. On the other hand, many studies have revealed the germicidal effect of UVC.

Hence UVC had become more popular as a light used for ultraviolet sterilization or UVGI (Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation).

ULTRAVIOLET LAMP IN DENTISTRY

As we know that the dentists are the first line professionals to have exposure to the COVID crisis. Maintaining a strict hygiene environment is a hectic task.

Moreover,  with the recent advent of the corona pandemic, new sterilization protocols have emerged.Maintaining a germ-free environment during and after dental procedures is literally a nightmare.
Hence, the Dental offices started showing interest in buying UV enabled HVAC ( heating ventilating and air conditioning) systems.
Recently, a new device called UV LAMP has emerged as the most popular corona sterilizer among dentists.
There are many theories in favor of this system. New sellers started promoting the product.

I have seen most dentists buying the product out of panic. They are confused! Really confused!

The main idea of this article is to enlighten the dental fraternity with the actual use of this so-called UV lamp. Before that, you should know some facts.

UV STERILIZER

Legit UV Sterilizer and Dryer Auto Dry

IDEAL FOR STORING SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS AFTER STERILIZATION. AS THE INSTRUMENTS WILL BE WET AFTER STERILIZATION, THE LEGIT STERILIZER CUM DRYER HELPS IN DRYING THE INSTRUMENTS ALONG WITH UV STERILIZATION. 

REALITY OF UV LAMP PRODUCTION IN INDIA

Interestingly, India has only one producer in play for the production of medical-grade UV light.

Yes! You heard it right. Only one company is producing and fulfilling the UV lamp requirement all over India.
In an interview with the Arklite specialty lamp chairman, Mr.Avinash Kulkarni has said that they have been flooded with UVC lamp orders after the PANDEMIC.

Among the serious procurers,  there are industry leaders, business tycoons, and Badshahs” of the public transportation system (the METROS).

Moreover, Mr. Kulkarni has said that the span of the UV STERILIZATION has gained demand across various industries starting from health and transportation systems to industrial food processing units.
But, how far can a single company satisfy the demands of the entire country?

This is where foreign companies come into play. Many sub-standard UV LAMPS are being imported (literally dumped) from China and are being procured by our health professionals.

Lack of proper knowledge on how the UV system works and the pressure of good sterilization protocols have made our dentists helpless. This has ended up buying sub-standard UV products.

HOW DOES A UV LAMP WORK?

Physicist DAVID BRENNER and his research team from Columbia University, has developed a game-changing UV system which is efficient in killing microbes in the air before we breathe them.

They observed that a range of wavelengths in the UVC spectrum is found to be pathogenic to the microbes. On the other hand, there are harmless to humans. This UVC is called Far-UVC.
Brenner’s team found that the far-UVC is effective in destroying the coronavirus in air and droplets. 
This has shown a ray of hope in the health systems for maintaining hygiene environment.
Moreover, a research team from Japan’s KOBE University has found that UV radiation of 222nm is safe and did not produce any skin cancer in mice.
The nucleic acids of DNA and RNA have a strong affinity towards UVC light. Hence the ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI), destroys the DNA and RNA of virus and bacteria and make them impotent to replicate.

 UV STERILIZER

SKECHTFAB MASK AND MOBILE STERILIZER

Highly recommended! Helpful to store and dis-infect the N95 masks for reuse. You can also place the mobile after working hours for few minutes for sterilization. 

BE AWARE OF FAKE UVC LAMPS

Due to the severe demand for UV lamps, a lot of counterfeit UV lamps have flooded the market.

The sad part of it is, none of them can be easily identified. These counterfeit appliances are slowly rolling into dentistry and are being used by us for sterilization.
Bigclivedotcom is a YouTube channel that has uncovered these fake so-called UV lamps. According to the channel, the fake LED UV lamps are ruling the world.

People around the world are buying these counterfeit devices without knowing their actual function.

The original UVC light is of short wavelength and can be easily blocked by a glass slab.
Bigclivedotcom claims that counterfeit devices are using UVA and UVB chipsets instead of UVC in the devices.

HOW TO IDENTIFY THE REAL UVC LAMP

An ideal UVC lamp claims to be less fluorescent. It is a single wavelength violet light that is clearly visible in the darkroom. On the other hand, counterfeit devices are more fluorescent and produce more phosphorescence.

Bigclivedotcom has published a video to identify the real UVC lamp from the counterfeit ones.

The ideal way of producing a medical-grade UVC lamp is by using a low pressure mercury discharge tube.

The ideal germicidal lamp emits UVC between 250 to 255nm. Any radiation less than 240nm can react with oxygen in the environment to produce Ozone.

Ozone gas in the dental office is harmful and prolonged exposure to it is not ideal. Standard companies have a thick glass chamber around the UV lamp which stops unwanted radiation and prevents ozone gas production.

A standard UVC unit emits uniform single-wavelength radiation in the far-UVC zone. Unfortunately, many counterfeit UV lamps have inbuilt UVA or UVB chipsets which produce harmful tradition.

Moreover, the new UV lamps are becoming more harmful by producing Ozone gas during the sterilization process. Few sellers are selling such lamps showing ozone as an added advantage. But that’s not true. Be careful while buying these lamps.

CORONA VIRUS AND THE UVC

Studies have shown that UVC is effective against coronavirus. It takes just 3 minutes to destroy the COVID virus.

Dr.Ajay bajaj has advocated the use of UVC, between patient appointments for sterilizing the working environment.

In simple words, after every appointment sterilizes the room with UVC for 3-5 min.

D90 value is the amount of radiation required to kill 90% of the specific pathogen. The exact D90 value is not yet calculated for SARS COV-2. As it belongs to coronaviridae the D90 might range between 7j/m2 to 241j/m2 for the SARS COV-2 virus.

UV STERILIZER

Life of Riley UV DISINFECTION LAMP

IDEAL FOR STERILIZING THE WORKING ENVIRONMENT IN THE DENTAL OFFICE. CAUTION: IT PRODUCES OZONE GAS WHICH IS TOXIC TO HUMANS. HENCE GOOD VENTILATION SHOULD BE AVAILABLE IN THE OFFICE AFTER USING THE UV LAMP. 

HOW TO USE THE UV LIGHT IN YOUR DENTAL OFFICE

The number of users of the UV lamp has increased after COVID-19. I have seen many of my colleagues ordering online. But most of us do not know how to use it properly.

The far-UVC is genocidal and is not completely safe for humans. Here is a simple guide on how to use the UV lamp safely.

UV LAMP SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS

  1. The switch on and off button of the lamp should be outside of the room if possible. A second option might be a timer equipped with the instrument. The lamp should have a timer to delay the switch-on the lamp so that the doctor can move out of the room during this delay.
  2. You should never switch on the lamp when you are working.
  3. The lamp should be in the working mode only when no one is left in the room.
  4. Depending on the dimensions of the room and the furniture, you may require one or more UV lamps for complete sterilization.
  5. Keep the lamp near the area to be sterilized. It is ideal to place the lamp on the working table of the dental chair.
  6. Fixing the lamp to the ceiling with too many obstructions is useless.
  7. Turn on the lamp only after everyone evacuates the room.
  8. Depending on the area the lamp may take a minimum of 40 min to 1 hour to act promptly. Never leave the lampworking for prolonged periods.
  9. You should be aware that prolonged exposure to the UV lamp may discolor your devices and furniture.
  10. Long working time of UV light produces more ozone gas. Hence open the windows for ventilation before you enter the room.
  11. Prolonged exposure of the UV light might cause mild to severe irritation on the skin (skin burn) and to the eye (corneal keratitis). Always wear full gown and cover your eyes with glasses before entering the room.

DISTANCE MATTERS

The UVC is distance sensitive. As it is of shorter wavelength, the UVC can travel for shorter distances.

The intensity of UVC is inversely proportional to the square of the distance. Hence there is an exponential decrease in the intensity as the length increases.

Dr.Bajaj has commented that a mere 4 feet distance can reduce the UVC intensity from 100% to 6%. A ten feet distance can literally washout all the UVC effect to 1%, which is useless.

Hence avoid rooftop placements of these lamps. Make these lamps to move closer to the required area of STERILIZATION by adding wheels.

You can also buy multiple lamps for different areas in your dental office.

The ideal place for the UVC lamp is near to the dental chair. A 40W UVC lamp can through 240-degree radiation up to 12 feet which is ideal for dental offices.

You can also choose a lower wattage lamp, but the distance to be cover decreases.

Remember! No one should be left in the room when once the UVC is on. No matter, how well your seller or dealer might insist on the safety of UVC, you shouldn’t forget this rule.

DO NOT LISTEN TO THE MIS-LEADING STATEMENTS OF THE SELLERS OR DEALERS. EVEN THOUGH UVC IS GERMICIDAL AND IS THOUGHT TO BE SAFE FOR HUMANS, IT POSSESSES SOME INNATE RISK. – be cautious

USEFUL UV GADGETS IN DENTAL A OFFICE 

I hope you got good information on UVC LAMP OR UVC TOWER. If you like the article, please do share it with your fellow dentists.

Links:

  1. https://www.financialexpress.com/industry/indias-only-uv-lamp-makers-flooded-with-orders-amid-coronavirus-outbreak/1942690/
  2. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-crisis-far-uvc-light-microbe-blasting-uv-technology-could-kill-covid-19-public-places/
  3. https://in.dental-tribune.com/news/how-to-use-ultraviolet-light-uvc-to-fight-covid-19-effectively-in-dental-clinics-dr-ajay-bajaj/

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