The lethal effect of ultraviolet (UV) light on microorganisms is well known and many studies have been undertaken into the effects of UV induced damage. Most of this work has been experimental; by comparison relatively little theoretical work has been undertaken to analyse the kinetics of the UV inactivation process, or to develop quantitative methodologies to support the experimental work. This paper presents a new and simple model for quantifying the photolysis rate. A theoretical study is also presented in this paper which quantifies photolysis rates for E. coli O26 and E. coli O157:H7. This study uses experimental data collected by Tosa and Hirata, and reveals the photolysis rate for E. coil O26 during the UV irradiation process to be 4.69 x 10(-3) m2 J(-1). By comparison, E. coli O157:H7 is much more susceptible to UV induced damage than E. coli O26, having a photolysis constant of only 2.09 x 10(-3) m2 J(-1)
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