Can UVC light kill Corona Virus?
Given the current outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, people are more curious about whether UVC light can disinfect surfaces and air in the home. As an air sanitizer manufacturer, we would like to share what we have learned by referencing some authorities.
- UVC light has been shown to efficiently inactivate the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.
- Sunlight does not affect the novel corona virus as fast as UVC light.
- UVC light is an efficient method to disinfect objects, surfaces, and spaces.
- Scientists are working on finding what wavelength of UVC light is more friendly to human beings without causing damages to skin and eyes.
UVC radiation is a known disinfectant for air, water, and nonporous surfaces. UVC radiation has effectively been used for decades to reduce the spread of bacteria. According to FDA and National Academy of Sciences, UVC light has been shown to destroy the outer protein coating of the SARS-Coronavirus, the destruction ultimately leads to inactivation of the virus. (see Far-UVC light (222 nm) efficiently and safely inactivates airborne human coronaviruses)
UVC radiation is commonly used inside air ducts to disinfect the air. This is the safest way to employ UVC radiation because direct UVC exposure to human skin or eyes may cause injuries, and installation of UVC within an air duct is less likely to cause exposure to skin and eyes. There have been reports of skin and eye burns resulting from improper installation of UVC lamps in rooms that humans can occupy.
Some people may consider natural sun light has similar effect regarding disinfect the air. It is not completely right. There are several type of UV lights, they are classified according to how much energy they have. Among the types, only the UVC light kills germs like viruses and bacteria through damaging molecules like nucleic acids and proteins. This makes the germ incapable of performing the processes that it needs to survive. But it is not a good strategy to use to disinfect your skin, the amount of exposure sufficient for disinfection will burn your skin and eyes.
A study published in the AJIC, looked at using a specific type of UVC light to kill SARS-CoV-2 on laboratory surfaces. The study found that the UVC light reduced the live coronavirus by 99.7 percent in 30 seconds. The type of UVC light used in this study is called far-UVC light, which is UVC light between the wavelengths of 207 and 222 nanometers. In studies with mice and rats, no damage to the skin or eyes has been found from far UVC light. However, more research is needed to verify that people can be exposed to this wavelength over periods of time without harmful side effects.
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