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UV Light and Coronavirus

UV light is a proven technology when it comes to reducing bacteria, viruses and other harmful microorganisms that pose a risk to human health. Ultraviolet (UV-C) light kills or inactivates microorganisms by destroying nucleic acids and disrupting their DNA, leaving them unable to perform vital cellular functions.

For many years, UV germicidal lamps have been used for disinfection of air and surfaces within hospitals, care homes, laboratories and many other organisations where hygiene and cleanliness are of utmost importance. In light of the current Coronavirus outbreak, UV is just one of the many technologies available and being utilised to help reduce and control the spread.

We offer three types of UVC disinfection lamps that can be utilised to help improve cleanliness and reduce the risk of cross-contamination

UVC Germicidal Hand Lamp – A high-performance, handheld UV lamp for disinfection of equipment and surfaces. Offers a high UVC output at 254nm to reduce bacteria and viruses in seconds. Ideal for rapid disinfection of work stations, equipment, offices and packages.

UVC Germicidal Units (fixed mount) – For disinfection of air and surfaces in unoccupied rooms and areas (usually overnight). Available in a range of sizes depending on application and area of coverage required.

UVC Decontamination Trolley – A mobile UVC unit for disinfection of unoccupied rooms and areas. Unlike the fixed mount units, this can be used from room to room and deployed where required. Provides coverage over a 2.5m diameter and effective in around 10 minutes. Operated via a mobile tablet.

The following information has been published by regarding the susceptibility of Coronavirus to UV light.

Table 1: Summary of UV light studies on Coronaviruses

MicrobeD90 dose (exposure) requiredSource
Coronavirus7 J/m2Walker 2007
Berne virus (Coronaviridae)7 J/m2Weiss 1986
Murine Coronavirus (MHV)15 J/m2Hirano 1978
Canine Coronavirus (CCV)29 J/m2Saknimit 1988
Murine Coronavirus (MHV)29 J/m2Saknimit 1988
SARS Coronavirus CoV-P940 J/m2Duan 2003
Murine Coronavirus (MHV)103 J/m2Liu 2003
SARS Coronavirus (Hanoi)134 J/m2Kariwa 2004
SARS Coronavirus (Urbani)241 J/m2Darnell 2004
Average67 J/m2

“Table 1 above summarises the results of studies that have been performed on Coronaviruses under ultraviolet light exposure, with the specific species indicated in each case. The D90 value indicates the ultraviolet dose for 90% inactivation.

Although there is a wide range of variation in the D90 values, this is typical of laboratory studies on ultraviolet susceptibility. The range of D90 values for coronaviruses is 7-241 J/m2 the mean of which is 67 J/m2, should adequately represent the ultraviolet susceptibility of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus.”

By using this exposure data, and comparing the UV light irradiance measurements from our UV disinfection lamps and systems, we can easily calculate the exposure times required to achieve a particular log reduction based at specified distances from the source.

UV health and safety

Please note: UVC is extremely harmful to the skin and eyes. When using the handheld lamp, the operator must wear a full UV protective face shield (supplied) along with gloves and full protective clothing. It should be used when no other persons are present unless also wearing PPE.

It looks clean… but is it? A visual tool to help improve infection control.

Surfaces may look clean, but high-performance UV-A inspection lamps can be used to reveal invisible contamination that could house bacteria and germs, including the Coronavirus. It’s a technology that has been used for many years by forensic investigators at crime scenes to help detect vital evidence, and by infection control nurses within hospitals to improve hygiene and cleanliness.

Click here to see images showing surfaces in normal lighting and under our high-performance UV-A blacklights.

Unlike UV-C light, which is used to disinfect air and surfaces within rooms, UV-A is safe to use, providing you do not exceed the maximum exposure times for the eyes and skin. Our torch is supplied with full health and safety information to help ensure safe use.

The other two main considerations that will determine whether a particular torch will work for this application are:

Wavelength – Contamination, including dust, stains, bodily fluids and protein fluoresce naturally under UV-A light, but at a specific wavelength (365nm). Digress too far either way from here and it’s unlikely you’ll get the effects you want.

Irradiance – You need a torch with a high UV-A irradiance level. Even if you get the wavelength spot on; if you don’t have enough power the fluorescent effects will be dull at best, even in dimmed lighting. Get them both wrong and you’ll see nothing. It’s not the electrical input that’s important here, it’s the UV irradiance levels emitted.

Our high-performance torch is guaranteed to produce bright fluorescent effects, even in normal ambient lighting. They are used by some of the World’s largest organisations for critical quality control checks, such as identifying defects in aerospace components and fluid leaks during engine manufacturing. We also supply them to the NHS for cleanliness monitoring.

Cheaper models found on Amazon and eBay may look similar but won’t be effective. Our torch is £299 for a reason, if you see a similar model for around £50 online and think it’s too good to be true… it is!

If you have any questions, please contact us.

Hand hygiene training

Our UV Glow Box Kits are used to demonstrate the importance of good hand hygiene and teach best handwashing practices. Additional UV Glow Lotion is available to order either individually or as a box of 12.

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