Can UV-C light disinfect surfaces and the air we breathe?
Since long before COVID-19, UV lights have been used in heating and cooling systems to reduce the transmission of bacteria and viruses. Similar UV lighting is used to disinfect drinking water, wastewater and medical devices.
So why isn’t UV light being used to fight the COVID-19 Pandemic? There have been a number of studies that show UV light is effective at killing viruses, but extensive testing hasn’t been done on COVID-19 specifically. However, there are a number of test and experiments happening right now. For example:
- Coronavirus Puts UV in the Disinfectant Spotlight
- New York City MTA Testing UV Lights in Trains and Buses
- NASA Scientist Wants to Fight Coronavirus with Ultraviolet Light
- Could a New Ultraviolet Technology Fight the Spread of Coronavirus?
UV light is invisible to human, and too much of it can damage your skin and eyes. The UV light with the most energy, UV-C, is most effective at killing bacteria and viruses, but it’s also the most harmful to humans.
How Does it Work?
When administered in the correct amount, UV radiation alters the molecules of many viruses and germs so they are no longer infectious. A short burst of this light can disinfect large areas quickly.
There are a number of devices that generate this type of light, from small portable units, to large rooms fitted with UV lights. New York City is currently testing a UV system on subway stations and train cars in order to combat COVIF-19, linked above.
For many years, homeowners have had the option of installing UV lights in their HVAC system, where air distributed though the home is first treated inside sealed air ducts.
While most UV sanitizers have not been tested against COVID-19, UV light has been shown to kill related coronaviruses, the swine flu, and other germs and bacteria. See this Kansas State University study. While the effectiveness against COVID-19 is not yet known, scientists and the medical community are exploring the possibility. There are also a number of studies underway to determine how this type of light can safely be use for humans.
If you’re interested in learning about how UV light can be used in your home or business, check out the Air Scrubber Plus product.
Exposure to UV light is very dangerous for people, and can cause cancer. No one should attempt to use UV-C light on or inside their body.
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