As restaurants, bars, businesses, and schools reopen, some people are wondering how to bring in customers and students while preventing the COVID-19 Delta variant from spreading. Businesses everywhere are looking for ways to make their buildings, schools, restaurants, and healthcare facilities cleaner and safer. UVGI is a term that’s been in the news a lot lately, especially when it comes to air treatment. Though no one solution works for all places, public spaces need to focus on proper ventilation, air filtration, germicidal ultraviolet lights (UVGI), and air quality monitoring rather than rigorously disinfecting surfaces, say many scientists who cite evidence that the virus lingers in the air.
The COVID-19 Delta variant is quickly becoming the most dominant strain globally. As of July 20, the Delta variant, which was first detected in India in October 2020, has spread to over 100 countries. This estimate from the World Health Organization comes with a warning that the Delta variant spreads faster than all other variants at the moment.
The WHO has said that Delta is more transmissible than the other variants currently on its radar, like the Alpha variant, first discovered in the UK in December 2020, or the Lambda variant, found in Peru in December 2020. It classifies Delta as a variant of concern, meaning it has been shown capable of increasing transmissibility, causing more severe disease, or reducing the benefit of vaccines and treatments.
According to Shane Crotty, a virologist at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology in San Diego, Delta’s “superpower” is its transmissibility. Chinese researchers found that people infected with Delta carry 1,260 times more viruses in their noses as compared with the original version of the Coronavirus.
While the original Coronavirus took up to seven days to cause symptoms, Delta can cause symptoms two to three days faster, giving the immune system less time to respond and mount a defense. The Delta variant has a 120% increased risk of hospitalization, 287% increased risk of ICU admission and 137% increased risk of death, according to the researchers who published their findings at medRxiv.org. It’s becoming increasingly clear that our societies will have to deal with COVID Delta, Lambda, and other variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. While vaccinations are still being administered around the world, with new variants emerging, it is clear that they are insufficient. UVC light has been proven to be a safe and effective way to purify the air of nearly all viruses and bacteria, including SARS-CoV-2.
UVC has been used effectively since the 1870s when its germicidal properties were first discovered. For centuries, UVGI has been recognized and used as an effective method of pathogen control. UV light was used for the treatment of drinking water as early as 1910, and the 1903 Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded to Niels Finsen for his application of UV light against tuberculosis of the skin. When it comes to air treatment, one of the most memorable historical moments for UVGI technology was William F. Wells’ discovery in the 1930- the 40s that UV lamps could help combat the spread of infectious diseases like measles in schools.
Investigations of the bactericidal effect of sunlight in the late 19th century planted the seed of air disinfection by UV radiation. First to nurture this seed was William F. Wells, who both discovered the spread of airborne infection by droplet nuclei and demonstrated the ability of UVGI to prevent such spread. With the enduring research of Riley and others and an increase in tuberculosis (TB) during the 1980s, interest in UVGI was revitalized. With modern concerns regarding multi- and extensively drug-resistant TB, bioterrorism, influenza pandemics, and severe acute respiratory syndrome, interest in UVGI continue to grow.
Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) is a well-established disinfection method that can be used to prevent the spread of certain infectious diseases. UV-C radiation kills or inactivates microbes by damaging their deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). UVGI can be used to disinfect the air, water, and surfaces, although surface disinfection is limited by micro shadows and absorptive protective layers. There are several methods for disinfecting air, including irradiating the upper-room air only, irradiating the entire room, and irradiating air as it passes through enclosed air-circulation and heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems.
The wavelength of UVGI light is perfect for disrupting the replication process of DNA within a virus. By hitting each virus with photons in the UVC spectrum we can make sure that the virus is deactivated and can no longer reproduce. This works for all of the known variants including Delta and Lambda and should work for all future variants because of how UVC impacts DNA and how this doesn’t change as a virus changes over time.
UVC will treat new variants the exact same way; disrupting its ability to replicate it neutralizes its potential threat. The susceptibility of SARS-CoV-2 to irradiation with ultraviolet light is high. A viral stock with a high infectious titer of 5 × 106 TCID50/mL was completely inactivated by UVC irradiation after nine minutes of exposure.
The UVC dose required for complete inactivation was 1,048 mJ/cm2. UVA exposure demonstrated only a weak effect on virus inactivation over 15 minutes. Hence, the inactivation of SARS-CoV-2 by UVC irradiation constitutes a reliable method for disinfection purposes used in a range of industries to create cleaner, safer environments, and help prevent the spread of infection.
For us to provide clean air for indoor locations, we need to bring new tools to the fight. UVC is a tried and true technology that has been used effectively for medical sterilization and food safety for many years. Now, that same technology is being used to help keep employees safe in offices and keep critical facilities running.
COVID and other pathogens will continue to change and provide new challenges to public health. UVC has been proven time and time again to be a powerful tool in this fight for safer air quality. The scientific community has studied and tested the abilities of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation systems for decades. Today, we know that it is a highly effective method of pathogen control that can treat air, water, and surfaces.
Alfaa UV’s UVGI systems are designed with the purpose to kill or deactivate the bacteria and viruses within small airborne particles that sometimes cause infectious diseases.
Alfaa UV’s UltraCoil and UltraDuct UVGI systems can also be installed in the ducts of heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and irradiate the small airborne particles containing microorganisms as the air flows through the ducts. Often, UVGI systems in ducts also direct UV light at the cooling coils and drain pans of air conditioning systems. Irradiating the cooling coils and drain pans can dramatically reduce mould and bacteria growth on the often wet surfaces of cooling coils and drain pans, or destroy the microbial films that previously accumulated on the irradiated surfaces. Much of the research on the health benefits of UVGI has been performed in health care settings such as hospitals, including tuberculosis wards in hospitals. Other study sites have included barracks, schools, offices, and homes.
There are many reasons to choose AlfaaUV’s UltraDuct and UltraCoil UVGI solutions for your air disinfection in Commercial and Industrial areas. To know about how we can help you create a COVID free space, call us today on 9833516650 / 8879336026 or visit us at UVGI Air Disinfection
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