From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : UV technology for disinfection
Mains level : Not Much
The Union Ministry for Science and Technology has informed that Ultraviolet-C or UV-C Disinfection Technology will soon be installed in Parliament for the mitigation of airborne transmission of SARS-COV-2.
UV-C air duct disinfection system
- The UV-C air duct disinfection system was developed by CSIR-CSIO (Central Scientific Instruments Organisation).
- The system is designed to fit into any existing air-ducts and the virucidal dosages using UV-C intensity and residence time can be optimized according to the existing space.
- The release adds that the virus is deactivated in any aerosol particles by the calibrated levels of UV-C light. It can be used in auditoriums, malls, educational Institutions, AC buses, and railways.
What is Ultraviolet (UV)?
- Ultraviolet (UV) is a type of light or radiation naturally emitted by the Sun. It covers a wavelength range of 100-400 nm. The human visible light ranges from 380–700 nm.
- UV is divided into three bands: UV-C (100-280 nm), UV-B (280-315 nm) and UV-A (315-400 nm).
- UV-A and UV-B rays from the Sun are transmitted through our atmosphere and all UV-C is filtered by the ozone layer.
- UV-B rays can only reach the outer layer of our skin or epidermis and can cause sunburns and are also associated with skin cancer.
- UV-A rays can penetrate the middle layer of your skin or the dermis and can cause ageing of skin cells and indirect damage to cells’ DNA.
- UV-C radiation from man-made sources has been known to cause skin burns and eye injuries.
So, can UV-C kill coronavirus?
- UV-C radiation (wavelength around 254 nm) has been used for decades to disinfect the air in hospitals, laboratories, and also in water treatment.
- But these conventional germicidal treatments are done in unoccupied rooms as they can cause health problems.
- It can destroy the outer protein coating of the SARS-Coronavirus.
Is it safe for humans?
- The device is specifically developed to disinfect non-living things.
- UV-C radiation used in this device could be harmful to the skin and eyes of living beings.
Answer this PYQ in the comment box:
Q.What is the role of ultraviolet (UV) radiation in the water purification systems?
- It inactivates/kills the harmful microorganisms in water.
- It removes all the undesirable odours from the water.
- It quickens the sedimentation of solid particles, removes turbidity and improves the clarity of water.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (CSP 2010)
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3