Are UV Sterilizers Effective Against COVID?


UV (ultraviolet) radiation has been known to have disinfecting characteristics for decades by scientists. In the fight against COVID-19, it is currently viewed as a vital weapon. UV-C (also known as germicidal UV) products are said to eliminate pathogens at a rate of more than 99.9%. Let’s know more about UV Sterilizers and its effectivity against COVID.

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Ultraviolet Lamps

Consumers may be interested in purchasing ultraviolet-C (UVC) lamps to disinfect surfaces in the house or similar locations in light of the current outbreak of Coronavirus Sickness 2019 (COVID-19) disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the FDA is responding to consumer concerns about the use of these lights for disinfection.

High-intensity UV-C, according to the majority of specialists, may quickly destroy the SARS-CoV-2 strain and disinfect surfaces against Covid-19. There are, however, some limitations:

  • The optimal length of exposure, wavelength, and dose of UV-C light needed to kill SARS-CoV-2 vary depending on factors such as the shape and type of contaminated material.
  • Covid-19 requires the highest exposure of UV-C of any virus tested, an amount that’s harmful to humans.
  • It needs direct contact to work, meaning it’s less effective in an area in shadow or covered by dust.
  • Prolonged exposure to such intensive UV-C light can cause textiles, plastics, or polymers to degrade.

UV Sterilizers against COVID

While the study reveals that UV-C light may be used to disinfect places, it also emphasizes the importance of operating it properly, adjusting it, and scheduling it to be successful in a variety of situations, as well as only using it while no one is around. Fortunately, there are a number of ways that UV-C can be safely used to assist guard against Covid-19 in public spaces.

Bacteria and viruses’ DNA and RNA can be altered by germicidal UV light, reducing their ability to reproduce. Viruses, bacteria, mold spores, and fungi can all be killed by UV-C products, which can kill up to 99.9% of infections. Because viruses are not living organisms, germicidal UV “inactivates” them in a sense.

Germicidal UV is a fantastic tool for disinfecting air and surfaces since COVID-19 may live on some surfaces for up to three days and can move through the air. Despite the fact that germicidal UV has been known for a long time, it has only recently been widely used in the United States. CDC and FEMA began to advocate for the deployment of these devices in hospitals in the early 2000s. Since then, various medical studies have found that during the last 13 years, the effectiveness and use of the drug have increased.

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Not only for hospitals but for a wide range of sectors as well, the technology is now extending to encompass new goods.

According to a Columbia University scientist, COVID-19 can be inactivated by UV-C, according to preliminary test data from Dr. David Brenner. SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, was tested on secure samples by Dr. David Brenner. After exposing the samples to UV-C, he took a look at how they responded. In a press conference with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York City, Dr. Brenner reported his findings (MTA). The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is launching a trial program to disinfect its buses, trains, and offices using PUROTM Lighting solutions with Violet Defense TM Technology. In his investigation, Dr. Brenner claimed he utilized the same type of ultraviolet light that will be used on the subway.

According to Dr. Brenner, he will continue to conduct more experiments and get his work peer-reviewed. This testing is particularly significant because COVID-19 has a different structure than previous viruses. It’s also worth noting that germicidal UV doesn’t take the place of conventional cleaning methods like dusting. Because germicidal UV products can’t penetrate particles like dust, they’ll lose their effectiveness if they’re on dirty surfaces.

The virus SARS-CoV-2, like other forms of coronaviruses, can be eliminated by ultraviolet light rays, according to several recent studies. Because scientists found that shorter wavelengths of ultraviolet light emitted by the sun, now known as ultraviolet-C rays, or UVC light, could kill bacteria in the late 1800s, we’ve known that UV light kills a wide range of pathogens. The fact that UVC rays do not naturally reach Earth’s surface like the sun’s longer wavelengths makes them particularly dangerous to bacteria that haven’t had time to adapt to them.

Since then, UVC technology has assisted sanitation. In hospitals and water treatment plants, for example, the beams kill mold, viruses, and bacteria. With promising studies into COVID-19’s potential to kill it emerging in empty subway carriages and even in the air ducts of many public venues, including restaurants, UVC light-emitting equipment is being used more.

The technology is now making its way into consumer culture with free-standing UVC lamps for your home or business. They’re also known as desk lights or table lamps, and they’re usually between $50 and $100. There are even cheaper, more portable UV gadgets for smaller items like phones, computer keyboards, and eyeglasses, such as handheld wands or light boxes with coverings that are promoted as safe, easy-cleaning equipment.

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Here’s the bad news, though. Although it has been demonstrated that utilizing certain amounts of ultraviolet-C light in controlled study circumstances can kill the coronavirus, there is no guarantee that a lamp can do the same. Manufacturers employ terms like “sterilizing” and “germicidal” to describe the lamp’s potential to kill germs, but they are cautious when it comes to naming the bacterium. They’ll usually list a few pathogens that are susceptible to light, such as influenza or E-coli. For example, you won’t see the coronavirus in the mix. We still don’t know enough about the dose, wavelength, or duration of UVC light needed to kill the coronavirus in the air or on surfaces, so there’s no certainty that any UV lamp will kill it, according to the FDA.

For the first time in the world, researchers at Hiroshima University discovered that employing Ultraviolet C light with a wavelength of 222 nanometers, which is less harmful to people, effectively kills SARS-CoV-2, making it the first study to confirm its efficacy against the COVID-19 virus.

Similar to the SARS-CoV-2, other research employing 222 nm UVC, also known as Far-UVC, have focused on the virus’s ability to eradicate seasonal coronaviruses that are structurally similar to the COVID-19-causing virus, but not on the virus itself. One billionth of a meter is equal to a nanometer. After a 30-second exposure to 222 nm UVC irradiation at 0.1 mW/cm2 in an in vitro experiment by HU researchers, 99.7% of the SARS-CoV-2 virus culture was destroyed. According to the American Journal of Infection Control, the research has been published. The Care222TM krypton-chloride excimer lamp from Ushio was used in the tests. On a 9-centimeter sterile polystyrene plate, a 100-microliter solution containing the virus (ca. 5 106 TCID50/mL) was dispersed. Before positioning the Far-UVC lamp 24 centimeters above the surface of the plates, the researchers allowed it to cure at ambient temperature in a biosafety cabinet.

The use of light in the ultraviolet (UV) radiation spectrum to protect oneself from the coronavirus is not recommended (COVID-19). There is no proof that it will help to cure or prevent COVID-19. Although there is no evidence that sunbathing or exposure to UVA or UVB radiation in the sun may prevent or cure COVID-19, there is strong evidence that UV exposure is the primary cause of skin cancer. When the UV index is 3 or above, you should continue to take SunSmart precautions:

  • Slip-on protective clothing.
  • Slop on broad-spectrum, water-resistant SPF30 or higher sunscreen.
  • Slap on a broad-brimmed hat
  • Seek shade.
  • Slide on sunglasses.

You should keep your hands at least 1.5 meters apart to protect yourself against COVID-19, wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and avoid touching your nose, mouth, or eyes.

Written by Alex Ocampo