Ultraviolet for Pathogenic Microbes
Air purifiers with UV-C light use a short section of ultraviolet wavelengths clustered around 253.7 nanometers. UVC is a proven method of disinfection, but is frequently under applied in inexpensive air purifiers. Exposure of airborne microbes to a sufficient power level for a long enough period creates a dosage which damages pathogen DNA structure.
This makes reproduction impossible, reducing the microbial population. Bugs cannot develop immunity to this cleansing power. Viruses, without cell walls, are particularly vulnerable.
Everybody is jumping on the UV bandwagon, adding $10 lamps to $100 air cleaners and bumping up prices by $40 or more.
Why doesn’t this work?
First, all UV bulbs are not created equal. A key feature is the actual emission spectrum of the bulb: cheap bulbs typically emit unfocused UVC, with bands other than 254 namometers which are getting more of the energy.
Second, to deliver proper germicidal dosage, airflow must slow down in the UV chamber long enough for killing power of the UV light to have much effect. Doing this would limit CADRs and reduce particle filtration. Many “UV air purifiers” end up just sterilizing the filter, with little reduction in airborne pathogen density and repeated passes to get the air pure require noisy high speed fans, universally disliked.
Third, there are health issues which many UV installations ignore. This means you should not see a purple glow, unless a special (expensive) glass port is present: eye damage from leaky chambers is possible. Additionally cheaper glass bulbs may break and discharge their unhealthy Mercury vapor. Unbreakable quartz is safer, but costs more, so most air purifiers do not use it.
For all of the above reasons and because of the added expense in using UVC light properly, the installing of it in most air purifiers is nothing more than a gimmick with little benefit and a strong possibility of danger for the consumer.
Phytofilter Technologies does not use UV light in its portable plant air purifiers because it is both ineffective and dangerous, for all the reasons mentioned above, and because plant air purifiers already have friendly microbes within the filter bed which actually feast on harmful biologicalssuch as mold, mildew, viruses and harmful bacteria, which can give rise to colds or flu.
However within our built in systems, used for buildings as a whole, we do. There we use a double lighting system within the Plant Air Purification Enclosure which can multiply the effectiveness of UV light killing power by up to 1000 times, compared to normal UV lights, installed within an air duct.
Unfortunately, the UV light protection provided by most air purifier companies is nothing more than a gimmick. Phytofilter Technologies provides a good product which follows the laws of both science and nature. We do not need to lie or deceive. We are the sellers of pure air.