What my two-year-old taught me about UV-C lighting.

I have a two-year-old who is terrible at taking medication. A few months ago, she had an ear infection and was prescribed an antibiotic. My wife and I thought we had done a decent job, but about two weeks later, the ear infection reappeared. What happened was pretty obvious; my daughter didn’t receive enough of the medication, and the ear infection never went away.

Unfortunately, as I’ve begun my work at illumiPure, I’ve started to see the same problem with several UV light solutions; they don’t bring enough dosage to fix the problem.

You’ve probably seen dozens of items that claim to reduce 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens after being exposed to UV-C light. There have been plenty of studies and support that show UV-C is effective at killing pathogens. It doesn’t mean that it instantly dies because a pathogen has been exposed to UV-C.

To understand if your air purification system is effective, you need to understand the “dose” of UV-C it will get every time it passes through your system. Just like a prescription, some UV-C solutions may require multiple doses (meaning numerous passes through the machine) to reach their 99.9%, while others, like illumiPure’s Air Guardian™, achieve the same goal in a single pass. The problem with multiple-pass devices is that pathogens are still purposely circulated through your room so they can reach the device again.

To understand dosage, you must understand two simple elements: strength (or dose) and time (or exposure length). In UV-C, we talk about dose in terms of millijoules. Although all pathogens vary in time to kill, we know viruses are some of the most durable. For example, SARS-COVID-2  needs to be exposed to 1048 mj/cm2 . As a side note, this exposure must completely encapsulate the pathogen for it to be effective. 

When I was younger, we’d play a game where you ran your hand over a candle. Unsurprisingly, no one’s hand ever caught on fire or got burned. In this game, the exposure time was low (a fraction of a second), and the dose of fire was also low. The same issue occurs in many UV solutions; even ones that start effective may suffer from dust build-up over time or a lightbulb going out.   

Fortunately, illumiPure’s Air Guardian® is best in class at both strength and time. Our dosage strength is approximately 2300 millijoules making it one of the most powerful devices on the market. Similarly, the Air Guardian ensures that anything entering it has to flow through over a dozen feet before it exits, massively increasing the exposure time for any pathogens. 

Remember, like any other product; not all solutions are created equal. If you’re considering purchasing a purification or disinfecting solution for your home or office, make sure you understand the dosage to maximize your safety. If you have any questions, let us know, or write your question in the chat widget on the screen. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible. 

Chris Romani

Chris Romani is the Chief Marketing Officer of illumiPure. After receiving his Master's Degree, Chris has worked for the last decade on the marketing of manufactured products. Chris has advocated for transparency of health-related data of these products and sees health and wellness as a primary purchasing influencer of many products today.

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