UV-C Air Purifers, Surface Disinfection, Ozone
Use of UVC for Home or Office Air Purification & Surface Sterilization as well reasons Ozone producing Purifiers are not recommended.
OverviewAlthough most of the posts/articles in this weblog are aimed at Aquarium and Pond use of UV Sterilization/Purification, I think some time should be spent on another application for UVC radiation, especially with the onset of Flu season (including the H1N1 flu virus; AKA “the Swine Flu”). Hospitals have been employing UVC air purification systems for years do to their effectiveness in checking the spread of air borne pathogens.
Another pathogen generally spread by air is Tuberculosis; a person with Tuberculosis (TB) of the lungs or larynx can release droplets containing Mycobacterium tuberculosis into the air by coughing, sneezing, talking, or breathing. These droplets, called droplet nuclei, can cause TB infection if inhaled by anyone who shares air with the person who has Tuberculosis.
The influenza virus is actually one of the more easily destroyed pathogens by UV Radiation with only 6600 mW/cm2 required to kill this virus. Put simply, a 9 Watt UV bulb can kill this virus with an exposure time of 5.68 seconds.
See this article for further information about mW/cm2:
This makes for a very simple way of destroying many harmful pathogens in the home or office with an air purifier equipped with UVC bulbs.
Here are a few other pathogens and the required amount of UVC Iradiation (given in mW/cm2):
This list is far from a complete list, as it is only intended to convey what the addition of UVC to an air (or even water) purification system can do for your home or office.
Generally most new Air Purifiers use non-ozone producing UVC bulbs; in fact the State of California has banned ozone producing air purifiers.
Please reference this article: http://www.arb.ca.gov/research/indoor/ozone.htm
However I should note that many air purifier manufacturers have switched to non-ozone producing UV bulbs (the aquarium/pond UV manufacturers have used non ozone producing UV bulbs as long as I have been in the industry). So if your air purifier is on the list of potentially hazardous units, chances are it is no longer is using ozone producing UVC bulbs.
If you have an older unit (such as older Bio-Zone, King Air, Eco-Quest & many others) that may employ the ozone producing bulbs, I would suggest simply switching these bulbs out with a new non ozone producing UV Bulb.
I would add as to ozone production and some of the negative reviews of some air purifiers; these reviews are all old and based on models that used ozone producing UV Bulbs from what I have read. My thought is that these headaches some complained of were due to ozone production. Headaches cannot be caused by contained non-ozone UVC purifiers.
Please also reference this article (below) for more information as to why you should not purchase an Ozone producing purifier or replace your UV-C Lamp with an ozone producing lamp:
“Ozone Purifiers Research References”
Sadly many replacement bulb sellers or even purifier manufacturers still sell ozone producing UV-C Lamps, even many consumers strangely demand these UV-C Ozone producing bulbs (to me this is like demanding the sale of carbon monoxide suicide machines for ones home?).
In fact here is a quote from the website of a seller of the BioZone Air Purifer:
"Please Note: This air cleaner does not meet California requirements and cannot be shipped to California.".
If this does not speak volumes, I do not know what does!
The two most common types are the stand alone air purifier that employs UVC radiation in a shielded area of the unit or the in-Duct UV Air purifier that fits simply into most home or office air or ventilation systems.
The Sharper Image Ionic Breeze Air Purifier (pictured at the top of this article) has been around for some time, and employs a common 15 watt T8 UV bulb, however this unit has mixed reviews from many.
Straight tube Sharper Image 15 Watt UV Bulbs
Bio zone makes several popular models of stand alone air purifiers and in duct air purifiers (pictured to the left).
Popular models include the 1000, 2000, & 3000 Air Purifiers along with the 1500 and 2500 in duct purifiers. Most Bio zone products employ a T5 10 Watt UV Bulb.
Another popular air purifier is the CaluTech “Blue” and Mini in-duct air purifiers. These in duct purifiers are simple to install and the three most popular models employ either the 18 Watt Twin Tube UV bulb (Mini), the 36 Watt Twin Tube UV bulb (original “Blue”), or the 55 Watt Twin Tube UV bulb (Blueray Super Output UV Air Purifier).
UV Bulb Replacements:
The picture below demonstrates and air duct before and after the installation of an in-duct UV purifier as per black mold (the left side is before, the right side is after):
Another device growing in popularity for home (& restaurant too) is the "Pocket Purifier"
The Purely Pocket Purifier has a built-in UVC light bulb (lamp) that when turned on and exposed to surface areas or items needing to be disinfected/purified, will destroy the germs and bacteria killing their DNA, and preventing them from reproducing and growing.
Purchase a Pocket Purifier
* Study: Indoor Air Purifiers That Produce Ozone Are Unsafe
*UV Replacement Bulb Reference Guide for UVC Lamps