Coronavirus: Disinfecting with UVC.
How effective is UVC sterilization? Does it work for bacteria and viruses? What are the pros and cons? These are questions are heard, especially when people think about how dirty their cell phone gets. With more and more UV sterilization products coming on the market, you might be wondering if they are worth trying.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned about the use of these lights during this pandemic in a statement this week.
“UVC lamps used for disinfection purposes may pose potential health and safety risks depending on the UVC wavelength, dose, and duration of radiation exposure,” the FDA stated in this week’s report.
The FDA said there is limited knowledge about the effectiveness of these UVC lights when it comes to inactivating the novel coronavirus, and in some cases, the lamps have the potential to cause harm.
“UVC lamps used for disinfection purposes may pose potential health and safety risks depending on the UVC wavelength, dose, and duration of radiation exposure.” It can take hours to get sunburn from UVB, but with UVC it takes seconds. If your eyes are exposed… you know that gritty feeling you get if you look at the sun? It’s like that times 10, just after a few seconds.
“The effectiveness of UVC lamps in inactivating the SARS-CoV-2 virus is unknown because there is limited published data about the wavelength, dose, and duration of UVC radiation required to inactivate the SARS-CoV-2 virus,” the report stated. “It is important to recognize that, generally, UVC cannot inactivate a virus or bacterium if it is not directly exposed to UVC. In other words, the virus or bacterium will not be inactivated if it is covered by dust or soil, embedded in porous surface or on the underside of a surface.”
The vast majority of the UVC lamps on the market don’t use far-UVC yet – and again, it hasn’t been tested in actual humans, just on our cells in petri dishes and other animals. So this type of radiation probably won’t help you during the current pandemic either.
Employ 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,” the FDA added.The risks of using UVC light and direct exposure can cause burns to the skin and eye injury. Another concern mentioned is ozone, which is emitted from the UVC lamps and can irritate airways, according to the FDA report. Materials like plastic and dyed textiles can be degraded by UVC light, and some lamps can even contain mercury, which is extremely toxic and poses a health threat if the lamp is broken, the FDA cautioned.
“Avoid direct skin exposure to UVC radiation and never look directly into a UVC light source, even briefly. If customers identify a problem with a UVC lamp, they can report it to the manufacturer and the FDA.”
UVC radiation has been shown to attack the surface protein of SARS-coronavirus leading to inactivation of the virus, but that is different to the current SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, according the report.
Aside from needing direct exposure to a virus on an unsoiled surface, the FDA stated that UVC radiation has other limitations with inactivating viruses. Many home-use UVC lamps are low dose, so it requires a longer surface exposure time with the light to inactivate the virus or bacteria.
Our disinfection team has more than 10 years of experience in disinfection at a medical level, with the purpose of neutralizing viruses that can cause infectious diseases caused by bacteria such as COVID – 19
Utilizing state-of-the-art SteraMist technologies, our team of qualified personnel has the expertise to provide turn-key services ranging from initial site assessments to complete micro-biologic decontamination. We use Binary Ionization Technology (BIT) to decontaminate air and surfaces including high-tech electronic and delicate medical equipment.
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This field needs some expert hands and skill. For over 10 years ECG has been providing professional decontamination services and procedures to minimize the risk of spreading infections. The purpose is to neutralize infectious diseases usually caused by bacteria or viruses like Covid-19 spread by human to human contact, human contact with an infected surface, or airborne agents suspended in the air.
Our team’s mission is to safely & affordably decontaminate your business environment, call us: 562-438-7999.
The information is created to reduce but not eliminte the risks of spreading infectious disease and viruses. There is no guarantee that implementing the suggestions will decrease or eliminate the risks of spreading infectious disease and viruses. The information is merely a suggestion and should be implemented at the sole discretion of each individual.