New type of UV light could safely kill airborne pathogens

The air we breathe is not always completely clean. Sometimes there are pathogens there, and that’s what causes the transmission of respiratory diseases like COVID-19. But it is sometimes difficult to purify the air, especially when it is a closed place. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it was advised against holding events with several people in a closed room.

Recently, researchers have developed a new type of ultraviolet light called Far-UVC. According to them, this ultraviolet light can harmlessly kill airborne pathogens inside.

Far-UVC ultraviolet light could radically change the way we fight the transmission of airborne pathogens indoors, scientists explain.

A revolutionary technique

The researchers claimed that this is a technology that could help us better curb the spread of COVID-19. The measures currently used are effective but are not suitable for everyone. As for the new technology, installing it would be as simple as changing a light bulb. The effectiveness of its antimicrobial radiation would also be high. According to biophysicist David Brenner of Columbia University Medical Center, Far-UVC quickly reduces the amount of active microbes in indoor air to almost zero.

Although the germicidal properties of UVC light have been known for some time, its use has been strictly controlled due to the ability of its radiation to cause burns and even skin cancer. But, recently, research on shorter wavelength Far-UVCs has suggested that this subset does not cause problems for human and mouse skin cells while retaining its ability to kill pathogens. in the air.

Spectacular results in large-scale tests

To test the effectiveness of the technology in a normal-sized room, the scientists carried out trials on a larger scale than had been done so far. They installed five Far-UVC lamps in a chamber that measured 3 times 4 meters and released a stream of bacteria into it. Staphylococcus aureus in aerosol. This was a room the same size as a single-person hospital room where different types of ventilation systems can be installed to conduct full-scale testing.

Results showed up to 98.4% reduction in pathogen load within minutes. The system was also able to maintain an ambient level of reduction of 92%, which matches the standard set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).

Physicist Kenneth Wood from the University of St Andrews in the UK said their trials produced dramatic results, far exceeding what is possible with ventilation alone.

Although the technology is promising, the scientists still indicated that there were still difficulties to be overcome before Far-UVCs could be used in real situations. In particular, it will still be necessary to ensure that the installation produces an adequate level of radiation exposure.

SOURCE: sciencealert

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