Are UV-C Air Filters Safe? An Expert's Perspective

The biggest problem with UV purifiers is that they emit varying levels of ozone, which can cause chest pain, cough, shortness of breath, and throat irritation. Even though UV air purifiers can be effective at filtering bacteria from the air, there is a risk that these devices may emit ozone. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends using HEPA or charcoal filter air cleaners instead. The air purifier light itself is safe, since you are not normally exposed to it.

However, there are other risks that UV air purifiers have. Ultraviolet light can create ozone, an unstable oxygen molecule that can have serious effects on human health. Exposure to ozone may reduce lung function. Not all UV air purifiers create ozone, however.

Appleby Systems' experts stand behind their products and guide families to choose the right UV air purifier. The question of whether UV-C air filters are safe is complex. The answer isn't as simple as yes or no; some are safe and others are not. The Center for Disease Control and the EPA do not recommend the use of ultraviolet light inside HEPA air purifiers.

In fact, HEPA filtration systems work very well on their own without incorporating ultraviolet light into the mix. In addition, unlike HEPA filters, UV air purifiers cannot effectively remove VOCs or other gases from the air. People can also improve indoor air quality by controlling the source of indoor air pollution and ensuring that the area is well ventilated. Air quality concerns and increased health awareness due to the Covid-19 pandemic have led to a recent increase in the use of air purifiers.

Filter smaller particles with more advanced medical grade air purifiers such as Austin Air to a virus level of 0.1 micron. EPA recommends purchasing devices that use HEPA and carbon filters to remove VOCs, gases and odors from the air. UV air purifiers usually work quietly and can be effective in removing bacteria from the air if a person uses them with HEPA filters. These devices can be in a plug-in portable air purifier or as part of a whole house air purifier that is connected to your HVAC system.

As air is forced through the device, it passes through UV lamps, which attempt to directly disinfect the air by germicidal irradiation. This is different from other air purification technologies that contain UV light technology but do not use it directly against air pollutants. People can choose a custom filter that fits their needs, such as a filter to eliminate odors or pet allergies. A HEPA filter is a corrugated, machined air filter that can trap particles of many different sizes. If there is no ozone risk, air purification systems with UV-C light may offer some type of disinfection capability, although they must also have a filter medium to trap particles.