UV Light – more cure than curse

Benford UV Curing Lamp in an NHS Ward

At Benford UV we are experts in the application of UV Curing Systems and UV lamps in the printing and packaging industry using UVB light. Our many customers globally appreciate the innovation and quality we have introduced to their printing operations.

What is less well known, is that at the onset of the Covid pandemic we looked at how we could provide solutions for the health industry. Benford researched then developed two products one for surface cleaning and the other for air cleaning, some images below show the work we completed.

UV Curing Light for Healthcare

UV Technology Application in Healthcare

We thought it would be interesting to understand some of the different aspects of ultra violet light in particular  with regard to health and the health industry. In simple terms UV light is transmitted in the form of waves, described by their wavelength and measured in nanometers, and split into the spectral ranges shown below. The light energy and therefore potential to cause adverse health effects is inversely proportional to wavelengths, fortunately UVC never reaches the earth because the ozone absorbs it.


  • UV-A (315 nm – 400 nm – lowest energy least likely to cause adverse health effect
  • UV-B (280 nm – 315 nm) – higher energy and can cause acute adverse health effects
  • UV-C (100 nm – 280 nm) – highest energy with most potential to cause acute adverse health effects

UV is universally  known for harmful effects including being a universal cancer causing agent in our environment . It is also well known for causing sunburn, harming  the immune system and  also damaging the tissue of eyes when there are high intensities of UV. Conversely UV from the sun is needed by our bodies to produce Vitamin D which helps strengthen bones, muscles and the body’s immune system. Research suggest that sunlight stimulates the pineal gland in the brain to produce chemicals called tryptamines that improve our mood.

UV rays can effectively ‘kill’ (deactivate or destroy) microorganisms such as viruses and bacteria by penetrating the cell’s membrane, destroying the DNA, and so stops its ability to reproduce and multiply. UVC germicidal lamps have immense sterilization and disinfection properties used to clean water , air and surfaces. Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) can be placed in HVAC systems to sterilize air and is especially useful in public places like hospitals, schools and airports to prevent the spread of airborne type infections. UV lamps are also used for water purification, in water reclamation, industrial processes,  pool and spas, aquaculture and life sciences applications. UV surface sterilization is used in hospitals in particular on surgical equipment and also in restaurants as well as public places where needed. Food irradiation using UV germicidal lamps is used to prevent early spoiling of food, prolonged shelf life, preserving nutritional value and eliminating food borne illnesses like E.coli and Salmonella.

UV radiation is sometimes used to treat patients with certain diseases who have not responded to other methods of therapy. Also known as phototherapy, studies suggest that phototherapy can help treat unresponsive and severe cases of several diseases, including Rickets, Psoriasis, Eczema and Vitiligo. While this type of therapy does not eliminate the negative side-effects of UV exposure, treatment is carefully supervised by a doctor to ensure that the benefits outweigh the risks. Interestingly whilst UV light was used  to cure dental resins in the 1960’s and 70’s, this has been replaced by new technologies, most recently high intensity blue light LED .

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