Explained: Can ultraviolet light help detect, kill the coronavirus?

News:Scientists are studying the use of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) to detect the virus in public places and disinfect contaminated public spaces to stop the transmission of the virus.


  • Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation(UVGI) replicates UV wavelengths and uses its destructive properties to target pathogens.
  • It disinfects contaminated spaces, air and water and helps in preventing certain infectious diseases from spreading.

Ultraviolet Light:

  • It is a component of the electromagnetic spectrum that falls in the region between visible light and X-Rays.
  • The UV light from the sun has shorter wavelengths than visible light and, therefore, is not visible to the naked eye.

Types of UV Light:

  • There are three types of UV radiation that are classified according to their wavelength.They differ in their biological activity and the extent to which they can penetrate the skin. 
  • The shorter the wavelength, the more harmful the UV radiation.However, shorter wavelength UV radiation is less able to penetrate the skin.
    • UV-A: It has a long-wavelength.It accounts for approximately 95% of the UV radiation reaching the Earth’s surface.It penetrates into the deeper layers of the skin and is responsible for the immediate tanning and skin cancer.
    • UV-B: It has a medium wavelength.It is biologically active but cannot penetrate beyond the superficial skin layers.It is responsible for delayed tanning, burning and skin cancer.Most solar UVB is filtered by the atmosphere.
    • UV-C: It has a short wavelength and is most harmful.However,it is completely absorbed by the Earth’s atmosphere and does not reach the Earth’s surface.