THE CORONAVIRUS crisis is leading to an unprecedented interest in the power of passive ultraviolet lighting to disinfect workplaces.
In particular, attention is centring on the use of UV-C radiation, which has a wavelength of between 200 and 280 nanometers (nm) and is invisible to the human eye.
At the specific wavelength of 253.7 nm it can be used for disinfection or purification as it breaks the DNA of micro-organisms (RNA in the case of the coronavirus) and makes them harmless.
In China, transport authorities are using UV-C to disinfect their bus fleet to minimise infection.
Signify, the world’s largest lighting company, says it is working with its partners in many countries to see how it can accelerate the use of UV-C lamps in those facilities where it can have a positive impact.
The company also today issued clarification and guidance on the use of the technology.
It said UV-C had a ‘meaningful contribution’ to make to the situation: ‘UV-C radiation can be used to eliminate viruses, bacteria and moulds from water, air and surfaces.
‘Hospitals, other healthcare institutions and public spaces, including schools (during nights or after closing when no persons are in the room) can design UV-C installations and/or cleaning schedules for using UV-C radiation that can help in neutralizing viruses.
‘It will also eliminate any other virus that could complicate the recovery of patients, both now and in the future.
‘As such, UV-C can help to eliminate the COVID-19 virus from surfaces and reduce the risk of future virus outbreaks’.
It warned that lamps with UV-C radiation were only safe as long as they’re used by professionals that know how to apply it.
‘When they use it they’ll need to shield their eyes and skin as the light will cause damage to those’.
The company says individuals should never use lamps with UV-C radiation on themselves nor on animals as it will result in severe injuries to their eyes and skin.
In China, where the use of UV-C is much more established, Signify is already working with healthcare facilities in many places.