Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Using UV light to keep hospitals clean

blog uv cleaning

Ultraviolet (UV) rays have a bad rap, mainly because they increase our risk of melanoma and other skin cancers. But technology is turning our view of UV rays upside down by using their power to protect us from germs.

Most people are unfamiliar with the Clorox Healthcare™ Optimum-UV™ System, a hospital cleaning technology that utilizes UV light. The device is manufactured by UltraViolet Devices, Inc., and Clorox Healthcare, which you probably know for its bleach and cleaning products.

At our hospital in suburban Chicago, the Environmental Services team uses the Optimum-UV System to keep things clean. The room sanitizer eliminates bacteria and dangerous pathogens, which is critical for patients fighting cancer. UV light is not only being used in hospitals but in homes, too. For example, you can buy products using UV light to sanitize your cell phone, toothbrush and cutting board.

We think the technology is so cool—and so important for our patients—that we wanted to share how it works. Check out this video to see the Optimum-UV System in action. The room sanitizer is transportable, fast and easy to use throughout the hospital, including:

  • Operating rooms
  • Patient rooms
  • Stem cell transplant units
  • Pharmacy clean rooms where medications are mixed
  • Common areas

Hospitals in recent years have been challenged by the growth of spore-forming bacteria, such as Clostridium difficile, or C. diff., whose symptoms span from diarrhea to a life-threatening inflammation of the colon. Older adults in hospitals or long-term care facilities are most vulnerable, but the bacterium is increasingly affecting younger, healthy adults who haven’t been to a health care facility.

Hospitals must do all they can within their walls to protect against spore-forming bacteria.

Regular disinfectants and alcohol-based cleaners can’t permeate the shell-like C. diff. bacterium, but UV light can to destroy the organisms. The Optimum-UV System can get the job done against C. diff. and other antibiotic- and disinfectant-resistant bacteria.

Read tips about how to reduce your risk of infection.