What are UVC (Ultraviolet C) Germicidal Lights used for?

“UVC radiation is a known disinfectant for air, water and non-porous surfaces.  UVC radiation has effectively been used for decades to reduce the spread of bacteria, such as tuberculosis.  For this reason, UVC lamps are often called “germicidal lamps.” 
(Source FDA – Food and Drug Administration USA)

Ultraviolet germicidal products are used in healthcare facilities, air filtration systems and other applications worldwide to help prevent the spread of pathogens. UVC lamps are sold as an aid to improving indoor air quality (IAQ).  Let’s begin by understanding a bit more about UV lights.

UV (Ultraviolet) is a type of radiation that we associate with sunlight, so we wear sunscreen to protect ourselves against UVA and UVB rays. UV (Ultraviolet) lights or sometimes referred to as lamps, are divided into three classifications determined by their wavelength: UVA, UVB and UVC. 

UVC light kills bacteria, viruses, mold, fungi and allergens

UVA (Ultraviolet A) rays

UVA (Ultraviolet A) is known as “black light” that is used for various types of lighting effects, tanning beds, etc.  These offer the longest wavelength, but lower energy levels.  They are more penetrating that UVB rays so they can affect cells deeper in the skin.  They cause skin to age prematurely and play a role in skin cancer formation. There are approximately 500 times more UVA rays in sunlight than UVB rays.

UVB (Ultraviolet B) rays

UVB (Ultraviolet B) rays have shorter wavelengths than UVA but higher energy levels.  These damage the outermost layers of the skin and directly damage DNA.  They too, cause skin cancers and also contribute to premature aging.  It’s not all bad news, UVB is also responsible for the formation of Vitamin D! 

UVC (Ultraviolet C) rays

Man-made sources of UVC include welding torches, special bacteria-killing light bulbs, and mercury lamps.  Although not considered a risk for skin cancer, UVC rays can cause severe damage to human eyes and skin, including burns, lesions, and ulcers on the skin.  It is important to handle these bulbs carefully, usually with gloves.

Germicidal UVC Light

UVC rays can be produced with a light. These UVC lights have been used to kill bacteria and viruses for a very long time.    This type of air disinfection can play an important role in a broad range of applications such as hospitals, schools, offices, industry, (food) and retail.  When it comes to your home, you will most likely find it included in a PUR Distribution air purifier that also has a filter-usually a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter.  


UVC lights are found in our PUR Distribution portable air purifiers (PD900 P or C)  or even as part of our whole-home purification unit (PD900 DW).  The Ultraviolet “C” lights in these units are properly coated (so they DO NOT produce ozone) and are encased in a reflection chamber which intensifies the UV rays. The design of these units ensures the best efficacy of the UVC light and the best protection for you.  You will not be in any contact of these lights when the unit is on. 

What are the advantages to UVC lights? 

They are a safe, non-toxic way to clean your environment without the use of harsh chemicals and they are extremely effective form of disinfection.  UVC lights are affordable and they enhance home comfort and better health, because they provide better indoor air quality. 

To learn more about AIR FILTRATION here at PUR Distribution feel free to contact us at 416-410-3450 or email us at info@purdistribution.com .