Many things have changed in the world because of the pandemic. We’ve seen schools close, businesses suffer, and governments and private citizens change fundamental parts of their policies and behaviour in response to the danger of the COVID-19 virus. This has included many efforts to make our buildings safer to inhabit by sanitizing surfaces and including better air filtration systems that help slow down the spread of the virus.
One thing that might not be obvious are the benefits of lighting when it comes to surface sanitation. Many hours of research have been poured into research on UVC lights that kill diseases in our buildings, transit vehicles, and other indoor spaces. The widespread adoption of these lights may help to create public areas that are safer for us to inhabit together, aiding in the opening of schools, offices, retail areas, and restaurants.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide to UVC light sanitation for the pandemic era. Our hope is that this guide can help businesses and organizations better understand and implement UVC sanitation technology in the ongoing fight against the virus. We’ll also talk about the benefits of new products coming soon like the Far-UVC Healthe Lighting DF Heal Cleanse Portal.
To accomplish this, this article will go over some of the science behind UVC light sanitation, explain what the difference between UVC and far-UVC light is, and then illustrate the ways that UVC light can work to make our world safer and less stressful in these trying times.
The Science Behind UVC Light Sanitation
The first question you might be asking is: Does UVC light sanitation even work? The current evidence says that it does. Columbia University’s Irving Medical Center recently discovered that far-UVC lights were able to eradicate 99.9% of seasonal coronavirus males present in airborne droplets.
How does this work? Essentially, the specific wavelength categorized as “UVC light” of light is able to kill germs by destroying their genetic material. The UV light penetrates into their inner workings and breaks down the DNA and RNA of different kinds of viruses, bacteria, and mold, thus disinfecting the air and surfaces of indoor spaces.
Alex Berezow told New York Mag that “UV light is lethal to bacteria and viruses because of its high frequency that scrambles and damages their nuclear material” This distinct power to damage cells and scrambles virus DNA also makes it potentially harmful to human beings, a fact we’ll go over in the next section of this article.
Although UV light is very effective at disinfecting surfaces and air droplets, it is also a fast and powerful way to disinfect water. We’ll go over the various ways UVC light can disinfect our human world later in this article.
First, we need to learn why the type of UVC light you use matters, and why only certain types of UVC lights should be used while humans are present.
The Difference Between UVC and far-UVC Lights
One important consideration when using UVC lighting is the danger it poses to humans. Conventional UVC light has a wavelength of 254 nm, which has been found to be a health hazard when humans are directly exposed to it. Considering UV light is what gives a sunburn when exposed to too much sunlight, it makes a whole lot of sense to be careful around this technology.
To address this problem, many researchers have shifted their concentration over to far-UVC light, which has a wavelength of 222 nm. This type of UVC light is unable to penetrate the tear layer of the eye or the outer layer of human skin, which is one of the biggest problems when it comes to using UVC sanitation in our human world: no one can be around when it’s being used.
Luckily, organizations such as Irving Medical Center have made big strides in understanding the effectiveness of far-UVC lights. Currently, only normal UVC lights are used in hospital rooms and subway cars that have been emptied of people, allowing the area to be sanitized for the next group of people that will be using that space.
The adoption of far-UVC light, which are safe to be used with people present, would revolutionize the way we use sanitizing lights to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Far-UVC lights would be able to be used in busy restaurants, bustling offices, or retail areas with high traffic, constantly disinfecting our world as we go about our day.
With many organizations practising limits on the number of people that can use a space or, in some cases, ride on a bus or a subway car, having the support of UVC light sanitation could help open up areas that have been avoided since the beginning of the pandemic. This is especially true because of the way UVC light sanitation works, not only killing germs on surfaces but airborne germs as well.
The Ways That UVC Light Sanitation Can Sanitize Our World
UVC light sanitation can sanitize our environment in many ways. From killing germs on surfaces to reducing viruses in water sources, UVC light can work together in many ways to make our lives safer during the global pandemic.
The first way UVC can slow down virus transmission during the pandemic is surface sanitation. There have been many studies showing how the germicidal properties of UV light can wipe out viruses, bacteria, and mold, making it safer for a restaurant to serve customers over a night of operation without having to obsessively wipe down surfaces and chairs with bleach.
Another way that UVC light can help fight the COVID-19 pandemic is by sanitizing the air that we breathe. With masks now becoming standard worldwide to fight the transmission of the virus, it is obvious that breathing in germs is one of the easiest ways to get sick.
As the Irving Medical Center study illustrated earlier, far-UVC light has been shown to destroy 99.9% of the airborne coronaviruses that could be found floating in the air. That sort of virus-killing effectiveness could go a long way in making public spaces safer during this global pandemic. With the wide adoption of such technology, transmission risks in small, confined areas would likely be much lower than they are currently.
Sanitization Upon Entry
UVC light sanitation during a pandemic could also mean sanitizing everyone upon entry. Products like the Heal Cleanse Portal from Healthe have been shown to kill up to 90% of contaminants. Using these portals at points-of-entry like airports or train stations, or at busy social areas like shopping malls, could have a big impact on the way this virus is transmitted between cities and by travellers.
One important note is that far-UVC technology has not been FDA-approved to kill germs, but that doesn’t mean that in the future UVC light might not be standard use in building and space sanitation.
UV light can also be used to sanitize water. In fact, it’s been used for years to disinfect water in wilderness areas where disinfected water isn’t readily available. After a suitable amount of time of exposure to UVC light, the water will be safe to drink. For disinfecting water, a strong UV light at the proper distance can kill many viruses and bacteria in less than a second. On surfaces, it may take longer, but usually no more than a matter of minutes.
Studies have shown that UV light kills 99.99% of germs in water, ensuring that the municipal water supply you’re relying on isn’t infected with any viruses or any other germs. Coupled with surface and air disinfection, UVC lighting can be a vital tool in the fight against the coronavirus and any other global diseases that endanger the human population in future years. With FDA approval in the future, this technology will hopefully make our lives safer than ever before.