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UV-C AND CORONAVIRUS

GENERAL FAQ

UV against Coronavirus Sars-Cov-2

1 ] How do UV-C Rays work?

UV-C rays act directly on the DNA or RNA of bacteria, viruses and fungi, making them harmless. This technology has been used for decades to sanitize surfaces, air and disinfect drinking water. There are many advantages in healthcare, just think of the elimination of the Clostridium difficile bacterium, one of the main sources of hospital infection

2 ] What is the difference between Cleaning, Disinfection, Sanitization and Sterilization?

These concepts are often confused with each other, let’s clarify:

  • Cleaning: removal of “dirt” from a surface compatible with its proper preservation. It is no guarantee of safety against viruses, fungi and bacteria.
  • Disinfection: it consists in the application of disinfectant agents, almost always of chemical or physical nature (such as UV) that are able to reduce, through destruction or inactivation, the microbiological load present on objects and surfaces.
  • Sanitization: it is an intervention, based on the use of detergent chemicals, aimed at eliminating contaminants that regular cleaning is not able to remove
  • Sterilization: this treatment consists in the total elimination of all forms of life. It occurs through special processes, such as the use of saturated steam under pressure, fire or UV treatment.
    UVC technology, if correctly used, can lead to elimination results close to sterilization, even if it is more correct to always speak of “disinfection” or “high degree of disinfection”.

3 ] Is UV-C technology reliable for disinfection?

UV-C technology has been used for disinfection of air, water and instruments for over a century. As early as the 1930s, UV-C radiation was commonly used for air and water treatment in hospitals and, since World War II, widely used in processing centers, water treatment plants and any facility dealing with microbial contamination control.

UV-C disinfection systems for nosocomial environments were first introduced in US hospitals around 2007. Since then, their popularity has increased as they disinfect virtually every surface of a room with minimal effort and without the use of hazardous chemicals.

4 ] Are UV-C rays effective for disinfection?

Several world-class agencies and organizations, such as WHO, EPA, CDC, ASHRAE and many others, recommend the use of UV-C radiation for water disinfection, environment and air conditioning systems treatment. Correct use of UV-C radiation allows the elimination of up to 99,9999% of microorganisms, such as bacteria and viruses, without the hazards associated with the use of chemicals.

5 ] What are the main application of UV-C?

There are no limits to the possible applications of UV-C radiation, but specific expertise is required to use this technology properly and achieve maximum results.

UV radiation is used every day in

  • Food and pharmaceutical industries – To disinfect the air and surfaces of production environments, disinfect product containers (packaging), isolate “protected” areas for the production and packaging of products, such as clean rooms, from areas at risk of contamination. Interventions of this type significantly increase the safety and conservation of the products we purchase. There are many advantages for our health, given the absence of dangerous residues that can be the side effect of chemical treatments. https://food.lightprogress.it/en/
  • Hospital facilities – To prevent the transmission of dangerous bacteria or viruses that may be present in the air or carried by contact by patients or visitors, operators such as TBC, Legionella, SARS and the new COVID-19. https://health.lightprogress.it/en/
  • Air Conditioning Systems – To avoid the annoying and dangerous formation of mold and bacteria in air treatment plants or ducts, responsible for Building Related Illness or “Building Related Disease” such as extrinsic allergic alveolitis, virus and fungal infections and rickettsias, bronchial asthma, humidifier fever, Pontiac fever and legionnaires’ disease, asthma and Sick Building Syndrome. Many armies provide UV-C systems as a defense against biological attacks, think for example of the dispersion of Anthrax. https://hvac.lightprogress.it/en/
  • Water treatment systems – To eliminate all microorganisms that could be present in water from wells, tanks and public water lines. This system is mandatory after an activated carbon filter, such as in water distributors that are increasingly gaining ground in cities. https://water.lightprogress.it/en/
  • Domestic environments – professional kitchen To prevent the formation of mold on the walls, to keep mites away from the bedroom, to keep the air inside a room healthy, to treat water. UV-C rays can also eliminate odours and grease deposits in industrial kitchens and are also used in catering, with the support of ozone emission. LIGHT PROGRESS has developed a specific response for this sector https://smellreduction.lightprogress.it/en/

6 ] Which Microorganisms can be eliminated with UV Rays?

Each microorganism has a specific UV-resistance threshold. Therefore, for a high level of elimination (1 Log = 90% 2 Log =99% 3 Log =99.9% etc) of a microbial load for some myrcorganisms a few seconds of radiation are sufficient, while for others it takes more time or, for the same time, more UV power.

These factors introduced are essential to understand UV technology:

  1. disinfection level that needs to be acieved (Log Reduction);
  2. UV dose necessary to eliminate the target pathogen;
  3. UV power in play;
  4. Exposure time;

 

 

7 ] Are UV-C rays effective against Coronavirus Sars-Cov-2?

At the moment there are no specific tests available on the UV resistance of Coronavirus SARS-Cov-2, but there are some examples of scientific literature about the UV-C treatment of very similar viruses, such as SARS-1 or MERS.

There is also evidence of the effectiveness of ultraviolet rays in disinfecting air and surfaces from microorganisms that are much more complex and difficult to treat than this virus, such as C. Difficult, MRSA, or even deadlier threats such as Ebola and Legionella.
It is estimated that the Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 virus can survive on surfaces for up to nine days based on its similarity to SARS and MERS. Standard disinfectants are effective against SARS-CoV-2, but to provide additional protection and defend against errors in the manual disinfection process, ultraviolet light can be used to disinfect surfaces and equipment following manual chemical disinfection.

UV technology is therefore a valuable tool in the fight against H1N1, SARS, MERS and now also COVID-19.
It is worth remembering that “the use of UV rays is not intended as a substitute for the use of chemical disinfectants but as a physical and ecological technology that in combination with traditional methods can make a big difference in the control of contamination of all kinds”.

8 ] UV disinfection: what are the risks?

UV-C radiation is very effective but must be used safely for the personnel involved. Exposure to light emitted by the ultraviolet lamp should be avoided in order not to risk damage to the eyes and skin. Clear colored plastic or painted surfaces may yellow, similar to those exposed to the sun for prolonged periods.

Surfaces Disinfection

Tools and masks disinfection

Air disinfection

HVAC Air disinfection