I found out that a relative is using a machine that performs UV water purification at home (for drinking).

There seems to be a distinct difference from the water that is not purified by it.

Is it possible that this use of UV radiation may lead to cancer in humans?

  • $\begingroup$ No, it does not $\endgroup$ – getafix Dec 30 '16 at 4:23
  • $\begingroup$ I believe that UV air purifiers make some ozone which might be linked to cancer. Water seems different because by the time you drink it I don't think that it would have radicals. UV is used to sanitize medical equipment and sunlight is putting uv into water all the time. $\endgroup$ – Joseph Hirsch Dec 30 '16 at 5:24
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you joseph-hirsch for your answer. geafix, In general, UV rays are known to cause skin cancer, so that's why I was confused. $\endgroup$ – itsols Dec 30 '16 at 5:32
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    $\begingroup$ That's right, but it's not like your water now contains "dissolved" UV rays or something. They are gone. $\endgroup$ – Ivan Neretin Dec 30 '16 at 6:29
  • $\begingroup$ I'm glad I got the answer to this question. But I'm surprised as to why it is off topic and "personal". I only found out about this due to a relative using it. But I sure believe this applies to the entire human kind (or for that matter all living creatures). So I would like this to remain for the benefit of humans. After all, the tag 'water-treatment' is 100% relevant. $\endgroup$ – itsols Jan 1 '17 at 7:32

Is it possible that this use of UV radiation may lead to cancer in humans?


The lamps used for water treatment are usually low pressure mercury vapour lamps. These lamps emit in the UV-C range with a maximum at $\lambda = 254~\mathrm{nm}$.

  • No mercury can escape from an intact lamp.
  • In principle, UV-C radiation may cause severe sun burns and harm your eyes. However, the lamps are housed and the consumer is protected from the direct exposure to radiation.

  • There is no change to the water due to UV irradiation.

  • UV-C radiation is efficient in killing microorganisms in water.


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