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Ultraviolet light can kill 99.9% airborne coronaviruses

ultraviolet light

Ultraviolet light

More than 99.9 percent of the seasonal coronaviruses contained in airborne droplets can be destroyed when subjected to a specific wavelength of ultraviolet light that is healthy to use for people, a recent analysis has been discovered. Work has been published in the Scientific Reports.

Conventional germicidal UVC light (254 nm wavelength) can be used to disinfect unoccupied spaces such as vacant patient rooms or vacant subway trains, but direct exposure to such modern UV lamps is not feasible in occupied public spaces because this may present a health danger.

Hence, researchers investigated far-UVC light (222 nm wavelength) to safely disinfect occupied indoor areas. Far-UVC light cannot enter or tear the layer of the eye or the outer dead cell layer of the skin, meaning that it cannot touch or harm the live cells of the body.

This is the same team that has previously demonstrated that far-UVC light can safely destroy airborne influenza viruses.

The researchers used a misting tool to aerosolize two common coronaviruses in the study. The coronavirus-containing aerosols were then sprayed across the air in front of a far-UVC lamp. Upon exposure to UV radiation, the researchers checked how many of the viruses were still alive.

The researchers confirmed that sustained exposure to ultraviolet light at the existing regulatory maximum would destroy 90 percent of airborne viruses in approximately 8 minutes, 95 percent in approximately 11 minutes, 99 percent in approximately 16 minutes and 99.9 percent in approximately 25 minutes.

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