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Disinfection Update - Winter 2021

Selecting the Right Mobile UVC Disinfection Unit for the Job

Mobile UVC disinfection units have been in use as a method for air and surface disinfection for more than 50 years. There are a variety of UVC mobile disinfection units available in today's marketplace, many with claims about extremely fast disinfection times. The problem with many of these claims is that they revolve specifically around COVID-19, which is easily inactivated by UVC, hence it does not require much UVC dosage (UVC dose = UVC intensity x time, and corrected for distance).

Selecting the Right Mobile UVC Disinfection Unit for the JobWhy is it important to look beyond COVID-19 when purchasing a mobile UVC disinfection unit?

The pandemic has created a resurgence of drug resistant pathogens such as Candida aureus, Chlostridiodes difficile, Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and others. Looking ahead then, when considering a mobile UVC disinfection unit, run times are considerably different when addressing bacterial spores as compared to non-enveloped viruses.

American Ultraviolet's mobile disinfection units have a center lamp tower with lamps mounted vertically, emitting energy at 360 degrees. These units will flood the entire space with disinfection energy, and cover the same area, just differing in cycle time and unit features.

Let's take a closer look at the differences when considering one of American Ultraviolet's mobile UVC disinfection units. The chart on this web page (click the image to see it larger) provides a quick comparison of UVC dosage delivered at various distance. This data shows average UVC dose values based on third party measurements, and in-house engineering evaluations during product validation.

So, what should you look for when selecting a UVC mobile disinfection unit?

The most important consideration is, generally, speed - how long does it take to disinfect?

"UVC Horsepower" (or UVC intensity), which can be thought of as the more UVC wattage a mobile UVC unit has, the higher the intensity, therefore the faster the run time for a target dose.

Let's consider the following example of some typical cycle times for American Ultraviolet's mobile UVC fleet. If Influenza is the target pathogen, the inactivation dose required is an estimated 6.6 mJ/cm2 based on studies. At 10 feet distance, the device run times are estimated at:

ARTZ 2.0 < 30 seconds
MRS-45 < 1 minute
MRS-33 < 2 minutes
MRS-14 ≈ 10 minutes

The UVC energy delivered at various distances can be estimated based on testing data; and validated with radiometers or photochromatic ink indicators (often referred to as Dosimeters).

Applications are endless, and therefore mobile UVC units are found operating in healthcare and educational environments, office buildings, gyms, daycares, restaurants, and government buildings, just to name a few.

Following is a summary of important considerations when purchasing mobile UVC units:

  1. Reputable and well-established manufacture
  2. No extra warranties or service contracts required
  3. Excellent customer service
  4. Ergonomics – User-friendly and rugged
  5. Fast run times
  6. Programmable, and data logging
  7. Free mobile UVC training / re-training, including policy and procedure documents
  8. Storage availability
  9. Low maintenance cost

To learn more about mobile UVC units please visit here. Our Applications Specialists are ready to help you find the proper mobile UVC disinfection product for your environment.


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Visit the Disinfection Update E-newsletter archives (which begin with March 2020) to read helpful stories about the effectiveness of UVC Disinfection.

None of the American Ultraviolet UVC products detailed above are certified, or approved under any applicable laws, as a medical device, and as such, American Ultraviolet, and its Representatives and Distributors, do not currently intend for them to be used as medical devices anywhere globally. Products have not been evaluated by the FDA.