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COVID-19: Safe Ultraviolet Light Could Be Used To Sterilise High-Risk Indoor Environments, Says Study

According to scientists, unlike typical UVC, which has been used to kill microorganisms for decades but is extremely harmful to humans, far-UVC is safe to use around people

COVID-19: Safe Ultraviolet Light Could Be Used To Sterilise High-Risk Indoor Environments, Says Study
  • Far-UVC in poorly ventilated spaces can be effective like N95 mask: Study
  • Switching UVC on will sterilise the air for everyone in the room: Study
  • Far-UVC is safe for human being: Scientists

London: Using computer simulations, scientists have shown that the relatively safer far-ultraviolet C (UVC) light can be used to disinfect in-room air, an advance that may pave the way for a new solution to kill aerosolised novel coronavirus in enclosed environments such as hospitals. According to the research, published in the journal Scientific Reports, low dose of UVC can increase disinfection rates by 50-85 per cent compared to a room’s ventilation alone.

Also Read: COVID-19 Explainer: What Is Far UV-C Light, And Can It Kill The Coronavirus On Surfaces?

The scientists, including those from Cranfield University in the UK, noted that unlike typical UVC — which has been used to kill microorganisms for decades but is extremely harmful to humans, potentially causing skin cancer — far-UVC is safe to use around people.

In indoor environments where it may not be possible to socially distance, aerosolised coronavirus released through breathing increases the chance of spreading the disease. This research has shown that far-UVC lighting could provide an alternative, safe and inexpensive way to mitigate SARS-CoV-2 transmission, said Liang Yang, a co-author of the study from Cranfield University.

In the study, the scientists found that far-UVC illumination in poorly ventilated spaces can be as effective as N95 masks in preventing transmission.

Also Read: In World First, United Kingdom Approves Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

With detailed and accurate computational fluid dynamics modelling, we were able to track and eliminate the airborne transmission of pathogens, Mr. Yang explained.

Imagine if you could simply screw a far-UVC light bulb into a standard light fixture. Switching the light on will sterilise the air for everyone in the room. This is what we’re aiming for. While industry and governments are investing heavily in ventilation infrastructure, ventilation by itself has mixed effectiveness if the virus is not being killed. Far-UVC is much cheaper to implement, Kirk Atkinson, another co-author of the study from Ontario Tech University in Canada, noted.

The scientists said the human-safe far-UVC needed for disinfection can be produced by special bulbs and lamps. They said far-UVC is safe since it has the unique property of interacting more readily, and losing energy more rapidly, than lower wavelength UVC while not being energetic enough to reach living human cells.

Also Read: Centre Asks States, Union Territories To Upload Data Of Health Workers On ‘COVIN App’ For COVID-19 Vaccination Drive

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

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