Ultraviolet light is part of the light spectrum, which is classified into three wavelength ranges:
UV-C light is germicidal – i.e., it deactivates the DNA of bacteria, viruses and other pathogens and thus destroys their ability to multiply and cause disease. Specifically, UV-C light causes damage to the nucleic acid of microorganisms by forming covalent bonds between certain adjacent bases in the DNA. The formation of such bonds prevent the DNA from being unzipped for replication, and the organism is unable to reproduce. In fact, when the organism tries to replicate, it dies.
Ultraviolet technology is a non-chemical approach to disinfection. In this method of disinfection, nothing is added which makes this process simple, inexpensive and requires very low maintenance. Ultraviolet purifiers utilize germicidal lamps that are designed and calculated to produce a certain dosage of ultraviolet (usually at least 16,000 microwatt seconds per square centimeter but many units actually have a much higher dosage.) The principle of design is based on a product of time and intensity – you must have a certain amount of both for a successful design.
Atlantic Ultraviolet Corporation’s purifier units contain one or more germicidal ultraviolet lamps. The Ster-L-Ray® germicidal lamps produced by Atlantic Ultraviolet Corporation are short wave low pressure mercury vapor tubes that produce ultraviolet wavelengths that are lethal to microorganisms. Approximately 95% of the ultraviolet energy emitted is at the mercury resonance line of 254 nanometers. This wavelength is in the region of maximum germicidal effectiveness and is highly lethal to virus, bacteria and mold spores. Therefore, the water or air that passes through the chamber is exposed to the germicidal uv light and the genetic material of the microorganism is deactivated, which preventing them from reproduction and rendering them harmless.