Ultraviolet lighting has been tested by scientists and engineers for years as a means for disinfection* of air, water, and nonporous surfaces– however, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, UV lighting technologies have seen a major surge in attention. To discuss some of its specific use cases in this week’s episode of the Bright Ideas series by Acuity Brands®, Catherine Bruce is joined by Gary Trott, the company’s Vice President of Technology.
WHAT IS KNOWN ABOUT ULTRAVIOLET DISINFECTION SO FAR?
One of the first things to note about UV disinfection technology is that it’s not brand new: decades of research back up its use. Laboratory research and studies show that it has the ability to inactivate a wide range of pathogens, from bacteria to viruses – including SARS-CoV-2 in vitro.
The presence of people within a space will strongly influence the type of UV disinfection technology that is recommended to inactivate pathogens there. Beyond a specific dosage, ultraviolet light becomes dangerous to humans, so there need to be appropriate safeguards in place to stop an activation of the ultraviolet light if anybody were to enter the space.
WHICH UV DISINFECTION TECHNOLOGY IS RIGHT FOR MY APPLICATION?
It’s recommended that any organizations or individuals seeking to apply ultraviolet light to aid in disinfection should study the application thoroughly, and partner with companies that can help guide them through the decision if they don’t have the expertise.
Because there are so many UV disinfection technology approaches, choosing one depends on the user’s priorities. Are people present? Is the central concern around bacteria like those that cause hospital-acquired infections, or are viruses like SARS-CoV-2 the main focus? And, of course, what’s the budget?
Sometimes a combination is actually the right approach. Users may employ one type of ultraviolet disinfection technology in one area, but employ a different version in a different space.
IS UV DISINFECTION TECHNOLOGY HERE TO STAY?
Given how much of an impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on daily life, it stands to reason that the world won’t quite ever return to normal (much in the same way that air travel will likely never return to what it was before 9/11). Health and medicine certainly will remain forever changed by it.
Organizations, whether medical or not, are not going to have a short memory of the 2020 pandemic either. They’ll want to be equipped to mitigate the disruption caused by any similar events that may happen in the future. Investment in UV disinfection technology is just one of the ways that companies are seeking to prepare themselves for potential outbreaks, and it’s a great opportunity for lighting professionals of any sort to use their years of experience to help make the world a safer place.
Acuity Brands is seeking to be a part of the solution to this crisis, and they’re creating a leading portfolio of UV disinfection products to fulfill a variety of requirements and budgets: from Care222® technology which allows people to be in a space during operation while still meeting safety guidelines when used within appropriate parameters; or luminaires with a pulsed xenon lamp and UV transmissive lens, using Violet Defense® technology, which is used in unoccupied spaces to quickly kill bacteria and inactivate viruses.
To learn more about these solutions, visit acuitybrands.com/resources/trending-topics/uv-disinfection-technology – and stay tuned for next week’s episode. Gary will be sharing more information on UV technologies and how it all works.
*All references to “disinfection” are referring generally to the reduction of pathogenic bioburden and are not intended to refer to any specific definition of the term as may be used for other purposes by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The disinfection technology as incorporated in Acuity Brands products is not for use as or for medical devices.
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