UV light disinfection may be ‘game changer’ to slow COVID-19 spread

Coronavirus

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — University of Colorado Boulder researchers say a specific wavelength of ultraviolet light is effective at killing the COVID-19 virus and is safe for use in public places like concert halls and airports.

“Of almost every pathogen we have ever studied, this virus is one of the easiest, by far, to kill with UV light,” said senior author Karl Linden, CU Boulder professor of environmental engineering. “It takes a very low dose. This indicates that UV technology could be a really good solution for protecting public spaces.” 

UV light use may be a ‘game changer’ for affordable, safe and highly effective systems for reducing viral spread in crowded public places, according to the authors of a study.

COVID-19 is especially susceptible to a specific wavelength – called Far ultraviolet-C, at 222 nanometers – which is safe for human exposure, researchers found.

“There is an opportunity here to save money and energy while protecting public health in the same way. It’s really exciting,” Linden said. 

Installing UV lights is cheaper than upgrading entire HVAC systems, according to researchers.

For more information, visit CU’s website.

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