A very important and useful attribute of UV rays at wavelengths of 250-280 nanometers (2500-2800 Angstroms Å) is their ability to kill bacteria, viruses, molds and other pathogens.
The use of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation for the sterilization of microorganisms has been studied since the 1930's. Microbes are uniquely vulnerable to the effects of light at wavelengths at or near 2537 Angstroms (253.7 nm) due to the resonance of this particular wavelength in disrupting molecular RNA structures.
Most of us are familiar with UV-A and UV-B rays, but the ultraviolet component of sunlight is the main reason microbes die in the outdoor air. The die-off rate in the outdoors varies from one pathogen to another with the same being true for pathogens in water supplies, but this can range from a few seconds to a couple of minutes for a 90-99% kill of viruses or contagious bacteria. For pathogens in water supplies, the UV intensity is much higher because the UV lamp is very close to the flowing water, the die-off rate ranges from fractions of a second to 3 or 4 seconds. The germicidal effects can also be species-dependent. Obviously, the exposure time is critical and depends on the velocity or flow rate of the water that has passed through the lamp. The water velocity is dependent upon water pressure (psi), with higher pressures yielding less UV exposure time which therefore may not achieve the desired pathogen kill-rate. The normal water pressure is 55 - 65 psi.
Bacteria are one-celled organisms. They exist in different forms and variations in the earth, in the water and in the air. Their average size varies from 0.2 and 1.5 microns - maximum 10 microns, and can not be distinguished by the human eye. Therefore one cubic centimeter of contaminated water can contain millions of microorganisms. Not every bacteria is an agent of disease. The most common waterborne bacteria which cause infections include: typhoid, paratyphoid, dysentery, colibacillosis and cholera.
Viruses are the smallest agents of disease. Their size vary from 0.1 to 0.004 microns. Except for the large pocketvirus, these microorganisms will pass through the typical water filter. The most common virus are hepatitis, yellow fever, and poliomyelitis. Viruses tend to adhere to particles in the water which can be filtered out with a well designed and functioning Reverse Osmosis system, but can not offer complete protection. Our 13-stage Thunder 3000C Reverse Osmosis system has an adjunct UV-C light unit built in for total and complete water purification.
Protozoa are larger than bacteria, and are one-celled animals varying in size from 10 to 100 microns. They can survive in insects or in the form of cysts when outside of the human or animal organism. Some protozoa such as amoeba, giardia and cryptosporidium are present everywhere. Others, such as malaria or of the sleeping sickness disease can only be found in the tropics and subtropics.
It is the bacteria and virus situation in water supplies that often occur before it can be detected in order to provide adequate warning to the population.
Suspect water supplies left untreated by UV light sterilization is what causes most human illnesses quickly after ingestion, while Chlorine, Fluoride. heavy metals and other contaminants bio-accumulate in the body resulting in health problems years later. In the spring of 1993 there was a widespread outbreak of acute diarrhea among the residents of Milwaukee, Wisconsin from protozoa contaminated public water supplies. Another outbreak occurred in 1984 at Braun Station, Texas, in which more than 2,000 people were afflicted by waterborne cryptosporidiosis. The total cost of the Milwaukee outbreak-associated illness is estimated at $96.2 million, and FIFTY DEATHS were associated with the massive Milwaukee outbreak. A UV-C sterilization unit could save your life.
In spite of improved water distribution methods and stricter EPA standards, old and aging distribution infrastructure, along with treatment deficiencies and inadequacies are common place, which can result in spontaneous waterborne illness outbreaks. With UV sterilization units now readily available and cost effective for home use, it would be a wise decision to install a UV light irradiation unit for continuous protection and peace of mind.
A constant supply of pure, clean water is what creates a healthy environment for the body to be able to heal itself and to live longer.
The viruses and bacteria listed in the below tables are the cause of most, if not any problem you can name, and they are mutating out of control! Nonetheless, it is clearly demonstrated that UV-C light irradiation has a broad and powerful ability to completely control these organisms in your water supply.
The following tables provide the energy of germicidal ultraviolet radiation at 253.7 nanometers wavelength necessary to deactivate and destroy (99%) of the disease causing microorganisms that can be present in water supplies.
Dosage = Intensity (x) Time in seconds
Important Safety Information: Avoid direct exposure or strongly reflected UV-C light to eyes or skin. Prolonged exposure can cause burns and temporary loss of vision or blindness, but does NOT cause skin cancer or cataracts.
For a collegiate level reference into further study in determining the infectious behavior of microorganisms, we direct you to the well-respected The Journal of Infectious Diseases published by Oxford University Press. These publications are focused on the academic community, however they are very insightful for the lay-person. They offer a breadth of publications spanning from Social Sciences, Medicine & Health, Science & Mathematics, Law, and Arts & Humanities.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases is an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
The Journals are typically on a Pay Per View Basis, however, many of the article abstracts can be downloaded at no cost.
Published continuously since 1904, you can view An Archive of all Online Content of the Infectious Diseases Journals.
|Effected Micro-organism Type|| UV-C Dosage @ 99% Kill Factor (uWSec/cm2)*
|Bacillus anthracis (anthrax vegatative)||8,700|
|Bacillus anthracis Spores (anthrax spores)||46,200 (approximate)|
|Bacillus megaterium (vegatative) (used as an industrial organism)||2,500|
|Bacillus subtills (vegatative) (used on crops as a fungicide)||11,000|
|Corynebacterium diphtheriae (pathogenic causing diphtheria)||6,500|
|Escherichia coli (E. coli)||7,000|
|Legionella pneumophilla (legionaiers disease)||3,800|
|Leptospira intrrogans (Infectious Jaundice)||6,000|
|Pseudomonas aeruginosa (environmental strain)||10,500|
|Pseudomonas seruginosa (laboratory strain)||3,900|
|Salmonella paratyphi (enteric fever)||6,100|
|Salmonella typhosa (typhoid fever)||6,000|
|Shigella dysenterai (dysentery)||4,200|
|Shigella Flexneri (dysentery)||3,400|
|Vibrio comma (Cholera)||6,500|
|Adeno Virus Type III||4,500|
|Bacteriophage (a virus that infects and replicates within a bacterium)||6,600|
|Coxsackie A (is a Hand, foot and mouth disease (unrelated to hoof and mouth disease)||6,300|
|Infectious Hepatitus (Hepatitis A)||8,000|
|Influenza (commonly called the flu, is not the same as the stomach "flu")||6,500|
|Rotavirus (a contagious virus - is the most common cause of severe diarrhea among infants and young children)||24,000|
|Tobacco mosaic (TMV) (infects plants, especially tobacco)||440,000|
|Chlorella Vulgaris (algae)||22,500|
|Giardia lamblia (cysts)||100,000|
|Mucor racemosus A||35,200|
|Mucor racemosus B||35,200|
|Rhizopus nigricans (Cheese mold)||220,000|
|Common yeast cake||13,200|
*Approximate & nominal Ultraviolet dosage (µWSec/cm2) necessary to inactivate (kill) greater than 99% of specific microorganism - Various information resources may report different inactivation (kill-factor) dosages.
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