Studies have proven that UV technology is an effective surface disinfectant; however, manufacturers are quick to point out that it should never be used as a replacement for manual cleaning and disinfecting.

“UV doesn’t penetrate large layers of biofilm, nor does it remove soils,” says Carolyn Cooke, vice president, North America–healthcare sector, Diversey, Charlotte, North Carolina. “So the need to remove that soil and bioburden before applying UV is a necessary step.”

As Campbell points out, the only way to remove soil and bioburden is via mechanical action in conjunction with a detergent disinfectant.

“UV technology does not take the place of chemicals,” she says. “When we implement [the product], we stress how important it is that the housekeeper still cleans the room with a quaternary disinfectant or follows their hospital protocol for mechanically cleaning the space.” 

In fact, when Campbell visits a customer’s site, one of the first things she does is ask about cleaning procedures. And during operator training, reps reinforce dwell times as well as how to properly wipe a surface.

In addition to supplementing manual cleaning, UV technology provides an extra layer of protection by inactivating germs in areas that may have been missed.

“You can never remove all the pathogens when cleaning,” says Williams. “We’re human, and there’s just not enough time. So UV technology is the ultimate backstop of protection against human error and complements what humans and cleaning chemicals can accomplish.”  

When asked if UV technology competes for distributors’ chemical business, manufacturers say it does not. In fact, Campbell points out that Tru-D’s sales reps are schooled on the importance of selling UV technology as part of a bundle that includes cleaning chemicals.

What some manufacturers do believe is that UV technology could potentially lessen the use of more corrosive chemicals.

“There is some sporicidal activity of the UV devices, so it could be used with safer, less corrosive disinfectant technologies,” says Cooke. “You could use a hydrogen peroxide-based disinfectant or a quaternary-based disinfectant and follow that with UV, which could lessen the requirement for bleach or other highly corrosive items, like peracetic acid.”

previous page of this article:
Understanding Ultraviolet Light In The C Spectrum
next page of this article:
Selling UV Disinfection Systems