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28
Sep
2020

Autoclave or UV Sterilizer?

September 28th, 2020
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The use of Autoclave or UV sterilizer depends on the user and what is being sterilized as they are both important devices for eliminating germs. Let's look at them one at a time.

A UV sterilizer disinfects items through the exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. That is, when ultraviolet (UV) light shines on an object for a prescribed length of time, the light will sterilize the surface. So, special care must be taken so that surfaces needing disinfection are facing and in range of the UV light.

Heat, water, steam, and pressure are needed to make an autoclave work. Within the autoclave, all the materials and instruments including all their surfaces, will be exposed to this heat, steam and pressure, and that is how all the surfaces become sterilized.

A UV sterlizer can be very effective at what it does. What is necessary is that all the surfaces needing sterilization need an unobstructed view of the UV light. The UV light can only work on what it has within a direct light of sight. The light can not be effective inside bends and folds and curves. And that's exactly the downside of using a UV sterilizer. Surfaces not facing the UV sterilizer will not be sterilized. Another important point is that the UV light must be checked regularly to be sure it is working at optimum efficiency. If the UV light is wearing out, then sterilization is compromised.

One of the common applications of UV sterilization is for water, like aquarium water or drinking water because the UV light can shine through the water. This type of sterilization is less effective with medical instruments, for example, because you don't want to have to keep turning over the instruments.

On the other hand, an autoclave would not be practical for sterilizing large volumes of water, but it's perfect for medical or scientific instruments. The application is critical in deciding what type of sterilization technique you want to use, and what is most practical and cost-effective.

Alpha Scientific supplies, installs, and services medical equipment in western Canada. If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about medical equipment, please call our toll-free number, (888) 818-4847, or email us at sales@alphascientific.ca.