UV lamps generally refer to the light-emitting center wavelength below 400nm, but sometimes the light-emitting wavelength greater than 380nm is called near-ultraviolet, and less than 300nm is called far-ultraviolet light. Because of the high sterilization effect of short-wavelength light, UV is commonly used in biomedical, anti-counterfeit identification, purification (water, air, etc.) fields, computer data storage, and military.
Based on the properties of UV lamps, in a recent study, scientists from the University of Toronto Scarborough campus found that the use of UV lamps can destroy coronaviruses and HIV. The lamps can alternate between white light and ultraviolet (UV) light, which has a germicidal and disinfecting effect. Christina Guzzo, the senior author of the study, said that with inexpensive modifications, they can also be used in many standard lighting fixtures, bringing "unique appeal" to public places.
The researchers first tested the lights on bacterial spores, which are known for their resistance to such radiation. If you can kill these spores, then you can reasonably say that you should be able to kill most other viruses you encounter regularly in the environment," the researchers said, showing that within 20 seconds of exposure to UV light, the spores' growth dropped by 99 percent.
The researchers then created droplets containing coronavirus or HIV to simulate the typical way people encounter viruses in public, such as from coughing, sneezing, etc. The droplets were then exposed to UV light and placed in culture to see if any of the viruses remained active. After only 30 seconds of exposure, the infectivity of the virus was reduced by 93%.
When testing different concentrations of the virus, they found that samples with more viral particles were more resistant to UV light. But even with such high amounts of virus, the infectivity dropped by 88 percent. In addition, the researchers compared UV light to two heavy-duty disinfectants used in laboratory studies, and they found that the lights had similar effects in their ability to inactivate viruses.
Of course, while the antimicrobial potential of UV light in the air has long been established, however, its widespread use in public places is limited - broad-spectrum UVC light in the wavelength range of 200 to 400 nanometers (nm) can be very effective at killing bacteria and viruses by breaking the molecular bonds that bind DNA together. This conventional UVC is commonly used to sterilize surgical equipment. But conventional germicidal UVC can also be hazardous to human health and can cause skin cancer and cataracts, hindering its use in public places.
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