Disinfection is a vital process in preventing and controlling microbial contamination in the water, on different surfaces, products, drugs, equipment, and more. Pathogens can be inactivated or destroyed by either chemical or physical methods.
Here we explain the disadvantages of traditional disinfection methods and why UV light is an important alternative.
- By-products of chlorine react with other organic compounds producing various dangerous compounds as possible human carcinogens.
- Chlorination changes taste and odors.
- Poor disinfection performance against viruses such as enterovirus and hepatitis A and microorganisms such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium.
- High levels of ozone will oxidize and deteriorate the environment. It is dangerously harmful, especially in enclosed or low ventilation areas.
- Ozone forms highly carcinogenic by-products at high bromide levels such as bromate, bromoform, dibromeacetic acid, etc.
- Since alcohol is flammable, there are use limitations as a surface disinfectant to small surface-areas and should only be used in well-ventilated spaces.
- Prolonged and repeated use of alcohol as a disinfectant can also cause discoloration, swelling, hardening and cracking of rubber and certain plastics.
- Bleach is a strong and effective disinfectant – its active ingredient sodium hypochlorite effectively kills bacteria, fungi and viruses, but it is easily inactivated by organic material.
- Bleach irritates mucous membranes, the skin and the airways, decomposes under heat and light and reacts quickly with other chemicals.
- Bleach should be used with caution; ventilation should be adequate and consistent with relevant occupational health and safety guidance. Improper use of bleach, including deviation from recommended dilutions (either stronger or weaker), may reduce its effectiveness for disinfection and injure healthcare workers.
In contrast, UV light has no residuals and no disinfection by-products. It does not affect the color, taste, or odor of a disinfection object. It is effective against all microorganisms and environment friendly.