Question 4 Survey Results; UV Technology for Environmental, Air and Water Sanitation

posted Oct 13, 2011, 2:00 PM by Todd Fox   [ updated Sep 24, 2016, 8:25 AM ]

Question 4 Survey Results; UV Technology for Environmental, Air and Water Sanitation


We have some reluctance in touting the wide usage and acceptance of UV technology in terms of hygiene and infection control.
  1. Do you believe UV to be an effective method for environmental, air and water sanitation?

44.4%      I know it is effective and trust research experts

37%         I think it is effective but don't know exactly

11.1%      Other Don’t Know

7.4%         I don't really believe it works that well


See [Infection Control Survey] if you have not taken the survey yet.


As seen in the Question 4 results of the Infection Control Survey conducted by OUTFOX Prevention, UV hygiene technology is unanimously and widely accepted.  There are many infection control professionals showing great confidence in UV’s (Ultraviolet) ability to reduce the spread of infection through the elimination of bacteria, viruses and other germs. 


UV has been around for many years and has many quality research statistics to support its effectiveness.  UV has been installed and used to help sanitize the water that flows in and out of hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities. It has been installed in HVAC and other air systems to clean the airflow, which helps reduce the spread of airborne contaminants.


UV comes in a handheld wand or flashlight version and has been widely used to sanitize surfaces.  Now it is increasingly being used by Infection Preventionists in environmental cleaning efforts.  Many hygiene companies have entered the UV industry with the introduction of bigger and better mechanisms to kill infection.  Each company boasts a different combination of light size, power, effectiveness and lifetime value.


With the wide availability of UV, the ease of use is consistently increasing.  Air and water sanitation through UV is automatic (installed in pipes and ducts) and the UV environmental cleaning process takes minimal effort to operate.  Sanitation is accomplished easily by setting the machine’s timer and allowing the area to be exposed for the recommended amount of time (depending of the brand, light size and exposure intensity). 


So why the reluctance?


We’re reluctant to be too positive about UV technology in regards to infection control because it may breed overconfidence and artificial reliance.  Technology’s goal should always be to eliminate or make certain processes more efficient.  That role is no different in the health and hygiene industry.


However, overreliance on a technology in terms of hygiene may lead health administrators and Infection Preventionists to abandon tried and true infection control processes and principles.  For example, environmental cleaning staff members may become more relaxed in the sanitation of an area if they perceive UV technology to pick up their slack in their work quality.  “Why worry so much about sanitation because we have the UV light to kill the germs?” or “My cleaning is just redundant to what the UV will do anyway!” may go through an employee’s mind.  That is a dangerous mindset for employees to have in a medical facility. HAI’s (Hospital Acquired Infections) could rise and claims increase as rooms are continually left dirty and contaminated.


The best way to implement and use new technologies is to add them without initially subtracting or modify current processes.  Slowly and over time you can drop processes being completed by new technologies (after tracking and verifying the technology’s effectiveness).


Finally, a successful way to maintain high standards and effective sanitation is through an infection control mindset (we call it the “OUTFOX Mindset”) amongst your team.  Creating and using a mindset helps your team meet new technologies, goals and other health initiatives with excitement and commitment.  Having an OUTFOX Mindset will help keep employees always thinking about their actions and how they can continually reduce infections within their daily duties.


Call on OUTFOX to learn how to introduce the OUTFOX Mindset in your organization.  Successful implementation of technologies can also be brought about by effective use of hygiene posters, various infection control trainings, standard precaution poster usage, fun hygiene games and other ways (you can find many of these tools available through  If you have questions or would like to contribute to a future blog, please contact us.


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