Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) is a disinfection method that uses short-wavelength ultraviolet (ultraviolet C or UV-C) light to kill or inactivate microorganisms by destroying nucleic acids and disrupting their DNA, leaving them unable to perform vital cellular functions. UVGI is used in a variety of applications, such as food, air, and water purification.
UV-C light is weak at the Earth’s surface since the ozone layer of the atmosphere blocks it. UVGI devices can produce strong enough UV-C light in circulating air or water systems to make them inhospitable environments to microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, molds, and other pathogens. UVGI can be coupled with a filtration system to sanitize air and water.
The application of UVGI to disinfection has been an accepted practice since the mid-20th century. It has been used primarily in medical sanitation and sterile work facilities. Increasingly, it has been employed to sterilize drinking and wastewater since the holding facilities are enclosed and can be circulated to ensure a higher exposure to the UV. UVGI has found renewed application in air purifiers as UR-UVGI and using human safe Far-UVC wavelengths in AP-UVGI when active personnel are present in the UV disinfection area.
It is generally accepted that new AP-UVGI technology using Far-UVC light is the most disruptive breakthrough technology in over 100 years to occur to the UVGI industry.
Wikipedia Page on Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI)