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Products with Ultraviolet Radiation Testing and Certification

Understand optical radiation and the risks and benefits of UVC, its disinfecting properties and uses in consumer, commercial and medical settings.

close-up of an ultraviolet light

Ultraviolet (UV) testing and certification

In the current global situation, questions surrounding sanitation, germicidal properties, and UV devices are more in focus than ever before. Safety considerations around the use of UV lighting and radiation are critical when so many new products are entering the markets of lighting, appliances, consumer products, healthcare and more.

UVC radiation has sanitizing properties and has many uses in commercial, healthcare, and consumer settings. UVC has germicidal benefits, depending on exposure dose (based on strength, proximity and time). However, there are serious risks to UVC exposure, so safety precautions are essential. 

A critical term to keep in mind when discussing UVC is containment, which refers to a set of design criteria in which people are not exposed to excessive UVC but the germs are. You will see "containment" used throughout this site in reference to the design criteria. In consumer oriented germicidal devices containment is achieved by locating the UVC source within the product enclosure. In contrast, germicidal devices intended for use by trained professionals in controlled settings may have exposed UVC sources. With these designs, product and site safeguards and intended use are considerations for evaluation and certification.

These different approaches relate to higher risks of improper use (intentional or otherwise) by consumers who may not follow (or understand) safety warnings on the product or the packaging. In contrast, trained professionals are expected to follow safety instructions and use necessary protective equipment.

NEW: Position paper on UVC-C germicidal devices

Consumer UVC germicidal devices are entering the market rapidly because of an increased demand for sanitizing and germicidal capabilities in the face of COVID-19. But are they all safe? Read our latest position paper to learn more.

Can UL help me achieve safety certification for my UV product?

UL offers a path to safety certification for most commercial and healthcare UVC devices, and specific types of consumer UVC devices. UVC products intended for use by trained professionals in controlled settings are evaluated based on product and site safeguards and their intended use. Trained professionals are expected to follow safety instructions and use necessary protective equipment. 

UL can certify eligible UVC (180-280 nm = UVC short-wave) devices for safety using UL Standards for the product type. Where the Standard does not already include photobiological safety requirements for UVC, ACGIH, ANSI/IES RP-27 or IEC 62471 for photobiological assessments will apply.

Work with UL to help ensure that your products meet the requirements to safely use UVC light, with proper labels to warn users of the dangers of exposure and photobiological assessment to address personal injury concerns for UVC.

Remember that safety certifications address risks like electric shock, fire and personal injury but safety certifications do not address efficacy claims. (For performance claims, see UL Verify information below.)

The resources on this page can serve as a starting point to understanding the risks, containment criteria and basic certification information for various UVC product types. UL has integrated services to help you navigate the safe deployment, use and maintenance of UVC devices. Contact us to discuss the specifics of your product and path forward.

 Please refer to the chart below to see which UVC products in consumer, commercial, and healthcare applications are eligible for safety certifications. 

Type of UVC Device Sample Image Environment Assessing the risks Safety Certification(s)
Home use portable sterilizer

Marketed to clean a room in the home
home use portable sterilizer Consumer UVC is NOT contained - not safe for a home setting

There is too great a risk that people and pets could accidentally be exposed to UVC and be injured, and ozone may be emitted. The exposure dose to people can be far above accepted levels and can cause injury. Integral timers or proximity and orientation sensors pose concerns with accuracy and reliability of these safeguards, as well as opportunities for misuse or bypass.
NOT eligible for certification for consumer use
Personal portable sterilizer/wand

Marketed to be hand held and moved over surfaces to sterilize
personal portable sterilizer or wand Consumer UVC is NOT contained - not safe for a home setting

There is too great a risk that people and pets could accidentally be exposed to UVC and be injured, and ozone may be emitted. The exposure dose to people can be far above accepted levels and can cause injury. Integral timers or proximity and orientation sensors pose concerns with accuracy and reliability of these safeguards, as well as opportunities for misuse or bypass.
NOT eligible for certification for consumer use; for commercial and healthcare applications contact UL to discuss
Portable air cleaners with internal (contained) UVC

Marketed to homes and offices

 
portable air cleaner with internal (contained) uvc Consumer and Commercial UVC is contained

The UVC source is inside the product enclosure and a safeguard disables the UVC when an access door is opened
UL 507 for electrical investigation;  standard includes personal injury requirements for UVC based on ANSI/IES RP-27 for photobiological assessment
Portable and stationary UVC sterilization boxes, cabinets, or containers
 
portable and stationary uvc box Consumer and Commercial UVC is contained

The UVC source is inside the enclosure; opening the door will disable the UV source. Testing would ensure that any ‘UV leakage’ will be within safe exposure dose limits
UL 73 for electrical investigation;  standard includes personal injury requirements for UVC based on ANSI/IES RP-27 for photobiological assessment. UL 62368-1 (or 60950-1) may also apply
Upper room (UVGI)

Mounted out of easy reach, typically 2.1m (7 feet) from floor
upper room Commercial Permanently mounted (i.e. fixed) equipment intended to be installed and operated in non-residential locations. UVC containment is achieved based on product design features plus site safeguards

 
UL 1598 for electrical investigation

IEC 62471 for photobiological assessment
Commercial/industrial heating and ventilation

May also be found in home settings
commercial and industrial heating and ventilation Commercial UVC is contained inside the air duct and not visible

Access is restricted to qualified personnel during installation and service. The design also includes other product safeguards such as ON/ OFF switch and interlock switch
UL 1598 (or UL 153) and UL 1995 for electrical investigation; UL 1995 includes personal injury requirements for UVC based on ANSI/IES RP-27 for photobiological assessment
Water treatment

UVC disinfects the water as an alternative to chlorination
water treatment Commercial UVC is contained inside a water vessel and not visible

Access is restricted to qualified personnel during installation and service
UL 979 for water treatment equipment

ANSI/IES RP-27 for photobiological assessment
Mobile UVC sterilizer/equipment sterilization

microscope

sterilizer

Healthcare and Commercial UVC containment is achieved by product safeguards, trained operator and limiting access to the space so people are not present during operation

In addition, the equipment includes reliable safeguards and is operated by staff with training for its proper use
In healthcare facilities and laboratory settings - UL 61010 for electrical investigation; the standard references IEC 62471 for photobiological assessment to address personal injury concerns for UVC

In commercial settings - UL 73 for electrical investigation; standard includes personal injury requirements for UVC based on ANSI/IES RP-27 for photobiological assessment

Germicidal systems

May have regular lights in addition to UV emitters

hybrid sterilizer Healthcare and Commercial

Permanently mounted (i.e. fixed) equipment intended to be installed and operated in non-residential locations.

UVC containment is achieved based on product safeguards, trained staff and site safeguards 

UL 8802 Outline of Investigation

IEC 62471 for photobiological assessment
UV lamps, ballasts, LED drives, UV emitters, controls, sensors, etc. UV lightbulb icon Components Components for use in UV equipment and germicidal systems; contact UL to discuss the specific use and design, and intended operation (within luminaires or only within equipment designed specifically for germicidal applications) Various, as applicable

Can UL help me measure UV performance?

All products are eligible for performance testing such as photobiologic, photometric and ingress testing. Performance can be assessed with or without a safety certification and will not include a UL Mark. Contact us to discuss specific performance measurements and risk categories. 

UL also offers the UL Verify program in which marketing claims made by a brand about their products, processes, systems or facilities are tested and verified by UL as credible.

 

uv lamps

Nonmedical UVC products

The use of UVC devices in schools, offices, hospitality/entertainment, food services, airports/transportation/car services and many other locations are a key focus for building owners, facilities managers and administrators alike.

Anyone involved with germicidal and disinfecting products should be interested in the safe use of UVC devices related to lighting, HVAC, appliances and other product categories. From functional safety to predictive modeling and robotic technology, UL can help you navigate the use of UVC in enclosed products, UVGI applications, open air technology and more. 

sterilized dental equipment

Personal hygiene, healthcare and medical products

The use of UVC devices in hospitals and healthcare settings, research laboratories and other locations are a key focus for facility and lab managers, EHS and administrators alike. The use of UVC devices for healthcare and personal hygiene include the home environment as well. 

Anyone involved with germicidal and disinfecting products should be interested in the safe use of UVC devices related to medical, healthcare, and personal health and hygiene. From functional safety to predictive modeling and robotic technology, UL can help you navigate the use of UVC in enclosed products, UVGI applications, open air technology and more. 

“[Our UVC] project was a great example of the cooperative and collaborative relationship our two organizations have built.  My compliments to UL for taking the lead on this important issue.”

  • Reed Bradford
  • Cooper Lighting Solutions

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