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UVC in Waste Management - A UVISAN Case Study

Caroline Bull

UVISAN has recently concluded a case study alongside a leading waste management company on the efficacy of UVC disinfection in waste management. This isn’t the first time that UVISAN has discussed the benefits of UVC disinfection over traditional cleaning wipes. In fact, you can find previous studies on wipes versus UVC cleaning here. However, this study delves deep into the numbers when it comes to killing bacteria on shared devices and the impact of UVC in waste management specifically.

UVISAN’s cabinets use UVGI (Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation), a type of disinfection that uses ultraviolet light (UVC) to kill microorganisms and pathogens. The medical grade UVGI lamps used in the cabinets produce short-wave ultraviolet light that is scientifically proven to kill bacteria, spores, viruses, protozoans, moulds and yeasts. UVISAN’s cabinets can be used to disinfect many different types of appliances and equipment. This includes phones, laptops, tablets, peripherals, headsets, as well as clothing and accessories (including PPE).

On this occasion, the tests were carried out on shared devices, namely gas monitors and radios, to measure the effectiveness of UVC technology over traditional forms of disinfection. There were two protocols for the test. In the first, the results of micro reduction on the devices were measured by taking swabs from an untreated device. Then swabs were taken after disinfection with wipes and again after UVC disinfection. In the second protocol, the swabs were taken from an untreated device and then after UVISAN’s UVC treatment only.

The Test

There were two testing protocols with 5 samples for each:

Protocol 1 - Swabs were taken from:

  • An untreated device
  • After disinfection (wipes treatment)
  • After UVISAN (UVC treatment)

Protocol 2 - Swabs were taken from:

  • An untreated device
  • After UVISAN (UVC) treatment only

(The widely-used CFU method (a colony-forming unit), was used to estimate the number of viable bacteria or fungal cells in a sample. Swab results verified – One Scientific Ltd.)

UVC in Waste Management - The Results

During the study, the wiping stage took 30 seconds (twice as long as an average user would take) and new wipes were used for each device. Devices 1 to 5 were heavily covered by soiling/organic matter, and after 30 seconds treatment with wipes there were still visible isolated dirt clusters.

Devices 6 to 10 were less contaminated, but still showed noticeable soiling/organic matter build up. As the graphs illustrate, some of the devices had the maximum microbiological load detectable by the testing method of 10,000 CFU. On one of the devices where this was the case, using wipes alone showed a 0% micro reduction.

In the first protocol, the average micro reduction after using disinfecting wipes was 42.4%. In comparison, the average for UVC showed a result of 92.7%, and this shot up to 97.2% in the second protocol. The highest micro reduction seen on a device with wipes alone was 84%. This is only 1% higher than UVC’s lowest result in the whole study (the micro reduction on the same device using UVC disinfection was 96.8%).

Even more remarkably, during protocol 2, device 10 saw a 100% micro reduction with UVC. This means that even one of the most soiled devices ended up showing the highest reduction rate with UVC treatment alone. For this protocol, the lowest result that micro reduction achieved was 96%.

The most obvious takeaway from this study is that in both protocols UVC shows superior efficacy over disinfection wipes. This means that in the future, when a device shows visible dirt and soiling, the best course of action would be to remove the dirt with a (more environmentally friendly) microfibre cloth, and then use UVC treatment for best results.

The UVC cabinets are especially useful when it comes to environments where high volumes of people need to use shared equipment, with a fast turnaround between usage. In contrast, traditional processes of disinfection (such as wipes) can be slow and laborious, which can cause issues when equipment is required quickly after each use in environments such as schools, universities, exhibitions, arcades and parks etc. You can read more about how the efficiency of UVISAN’s cabinets have helped in these types of environments here and here.

Some of the benefits of UVC disinfection:

  • UVISAN cabinets have a charging capability of up to 100 devices
  • The UVISAN disinfection cabinets can be locked for safe storage of high-value items
  • Storage in the cabinets prevents cross contamination
  • Disinfection can be repeated an unlimited number of times
  • UVC disinfection is less laborious and time-consuming
  • No risk of chemicals or liquids damaging devices during disinfection process
  • UVC is superior to wipes in fighting all pathogens
  • The cabinets use a cleaning cycle of only 5 minutes

We’re also now recommended as a disinfection product by Hewlett Packard for use on their VR headsets. You can read more about this here.

If you’re interested in UVISAN’s UVC cabinets, get in touch today!


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