Ultra Violet Light is classified as either A, B or C. UVC light has long been used as a powerful disinfectant against viruses and bacteria. UVA rays have the longest wavelengths and can penetrate the middle layer of your skin. UVB rays have a shorter wavelength than UVA rays and are also able to penetrate the Earth’s atmosphere, but only reach the outer layer of your skin. UVB helps produce vitamin D in humans. UVC light doesn’t penetrate the Earth’s atmosphere since the Ozone layer surrounding the Earth reflects the UVC Rays. UVC is most lethal to Viruses, Bacteria and organic living organisms since it is foreign to our environment. Unfortunately, UVC light also causes cancer in humans and can damage vision if humans near the light source aren’t protected appropriately.
A study published from 2004 on the National Institute of Health’s website indicates that Ultra Violet (UV) C light inactivated the SARS Corona virus studied in 2004 at a distance of 3 cm for 15 minutes. The SARS Corona virus studied in 2004 obviously is not the same exact virus that COVID-19 represents, however the findings from the earlier study suggests a potential avenue for launching an assault on the virus.
Far UVC Lighting
Far-UVC light has the potential to damage and kill viruses, bacteria and microbes, but doesn’t penetrate or damage the human skin. Research at Columbia University suggests mass production and deployment of Far-UVC lights in public transit and other public areas might be an effective method of curtailing spread of the aerosolized COVID-19 virus.
A recent study conducted by Kobe University-Ushio Inc. shows that repetitive irradiation with 222nm (Far-UVC) does not cause skin cancer.
Assuming safety claims are validated and that the manufacturing and production of FAR- UVC lamps can take place quickly, within months, deployment of Far-UVC light bulbs into public areas and public transit could provide a significant tool in combating the current pandemic and make it less likely that a re-emergence of the pandemic takes place.
UVC Lighting used to sanitize absent humans
Shanghai uses UVC Light to Sanitize Empty Buses
The Chinese city of Shanghai has begun using UVC Portable lights to sanitize public transit. Key to doing this safely is ensuring that humans are not close to the light while it is being emitted. Using remote controls and protective eye and skin covering can overcome the risks associated with using UVC disinfectant.
New York City Plans to Use UV to combat Covid-19 on subways and buses
Last week, news reports indicate that the New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority plans to partner with Columbia University, which has been researching the effectiveness of UV light in combating COVID-19, to test the effectiveness as a weapon to curtail the virus.
The Chicago Transit Authority will host a public meeting on Wednesday, May 13th, 2020. The CTA should fast track investigating the use of UVC technology to sanitize not in use buses and trains.
UV Light to Treat Plasma
Other research has shown that UV Light and riboflavin (Vitamin B) are effective at combating SARS-CoV-2 / MERS-CoV during the transfusion process. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32311760