Are UV-C Air Purifiers Safe? A Comprehensive Guide

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 the UV-C radiation itself can be dangerous if handled improperly. While 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 of UV air purifiers.

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. Appleby Systems' experts stand behind their products and will guide your family to choose the right UV air purifier. Currently, the Center for Disease Control and the Environmental Protection Agency do not recommend the use of ultraviolet light inside HEPA air purifiers. In fact, the EPA itself has publicly stated that “there is no standard measure for the effectiveness of UVGI cleaners”.

In contrast, HEPA filtration systems work very well on their own, without incorporating ultraviolet light into the mix. People can also improve indoor air quality by controlling the source of indoor air pollution and ensuring that the area is well ventilated. Filter smaller particles with more advanced medical grade air purifiers such as Austin Air to a virus level of 0.1 micron. The EPA recommends purchasing devices that use HEPA and carbon filters to remove VOCs, gases and odors from the air.

Ultraviolet light has been more recently popularly implemented in air purification systems as a means to effectively kill and eliminate microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses and mold spores from the air of an indoor environment. A study published in the journal Public Health Reports points out that a common way to use UVC to disinfect air is with something called “ultraviolet germicidal radiation (UVGI) from the upper room”, in which lamps are mounted on the ceiling and clean the air near the ceiling before it circulates downwards again. While UVC can be used alone in institutional settings, such as hospitals, to kill germs, when it comes to your home, you'll most likely find it in combination with an air purifier that also has a filter, for example, a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. However, some don't, so it's essential to do due diligence before purchasing an air purifier that uses UV lights, to ensure it's within the safe range and doesn't have an adverse impact on indoor air quality and human health after exposure.

It 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. The capabilities and benefits of UVC light used in air purifiers and other air quality devices may include its ability to kill and destroy airborne viruses that come into contact with or are exposed to this powerful UVC light. In addition, unlike HEPA filters, UV air purifiers cannot effectively remove VOCs or other gases from the air. Whenever you are looking for an air purifier, there are many different factors you should consider during the process of buying an air purifier, such as the technology used, its safety, and how effectively it improves indoor air quality.

Many air purifiers that use UV lights inside are usually safe for use in indoor environments; however, there are some that can produce hazardous byproducts in the airspace such as ozone. If you're worried about bacteria and viruses in your home, Jones recommends a plug-in portable air purifier with a HEPA filter.