In the 1800’s it was discovered that sunlight has the ability to prevent microbial growth. Scientists went on to demonstrate that the ability of sunlight to neutralize bacteria spores was dependent on intensity, duration, and wavelength, with the shorter wavelengths of the solar spectrum being the most effective.
In 1910 a water treatment plant in France incorporated UV light sanitation into their system after discovering that it was more effective at eliminating parasites that are resistant to chemical disinfectants such as chlorine. Six years roll out of the technology began in North American water treatment plants.
UV lamps were commercialized in the 1930’s and were thereafter commonly incorporated into air purification systems after the end of the Second World War. Today UV air disinfection regularly used in air handling systems in medical facilities, busy factories, large office buildings, and many institutions.
European and Asian hospitals use lamps to disinfect operating rooms and other spaces requiring high degree of sterilization.