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Author Topic: Does UVC light sterilize only the surface?  (Read 1577 times)

Offline earthliver

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Does UVC light sterilize only the surface?
« on: 06/11/2015 00:26:20 »
Hi!

I used to sterilize my pillow with UVC light.
But even UVB, a more penetrating light than UVC, can't get to our inner skins and only burns the surface.
In this sense, I've got to be suspicious about UVC as a sterilizer for layered stuffs like cottons,
and would like to get some explanations on this matter. Thanks!
« Last Edit: 06/11/2015 00:31:17 by earthliver »


 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Does UVC light sterilize only the surface?
« Reply #1 on: 06/11/2015 08:44:24 »
UVC is primarily a surface sterilant, though it can be used to sterilise thin layers of circulating water.

We use heavy cotton overalls for protection against UV therapy sources: penetration through a lab coat or jeans is almost negligible.  Since any pathogens in a pillow will be distributed throughout the filling (where it's warm and moist) you really need steam, bleach, gas or gamma radiation, to have any useful effect.

Any sterilant (including UVC) will be extremely dangerous if it is effective - you are made of the same stuff as bacteria, but they are a lot tougher. Don't try any of this at home!
 
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Offline earthliver

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Re: Does UVC light sterilize only the surface?
« Reply #2 on: 07/11/2015 14:20:40 »
wow the last lines are so touching.
There seems to be no too good way to sterilize my pillow...
 

Online chiralSPO

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Re: Does UVC light sterilize only the surface?
« Reply #3 on: 07/11/2015 18:37:23 »
You could probably sterilize your pillow with grain alcohol, you just need to give it a really long time to air out properly, and be careful not to have any ignition sources around! (I don't know what your pillow is made of, but if it's cotton or down or something of that nature it should be fine) You can probably just pour 100 mL or so of alcohol into the pillow, put it in a plastic bag to "marinate" for a few hours then let it air dry outside for a day (or until it stops smelling like alcohol).

No guarantee it will work, but it should kill most anything without destroying the pillow or being to risky for you...
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Does UVC light sterilize only the surface?
« Reply #4 on: 07/11/2015 23:02:10 »
Now we are getting somewhere. Alcohol, garlic and turmeric are effective biocides. So wash down a vindaloo with a few whiskies, and just breathe into your pillow. Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or even contemplate going to work by public transport the next day. Science can be fun!
 

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Re: Does UVC light sterilize only the surface?
« Reply #4 on: 07/11/2015 23:02:10 »

 

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