Although the spread of infection is not a new challenge, COVID-19 has made us all more cautious about public spaces with high-touch areas. Termed Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI), hundreds of pathogens, including coronaviruses, have been known to respond to this form of disinfection. UVC, the highest energy portion of the ultraviolet (UV) radiation spectrum, offers a proven and effective way to disinfect air and surfaces, even in areas that would normally be difficult to clean. UVC light offers a way to rapidly disinfect and kill up to 99.99% of viruses, including coronaviruses.
While talking about surface disinfection, the International Ultraviolet Association (IUVA) notes: “COVID-19 infections can be caused by contact with contaminated surfaces and then touching facial areas. COVID-19 virus can live on plastic and steel surfaces for up to 3 days. Normal cleaning and disinfection may leave behind some residual contamination, which UVGI Technology can treat suggesting that a multiple disinfectant approach is prudent. UVC light has been shown to achieve a high level of inactivation of a near-relative of COVID-19’s virus (SARS-CoV-1). IUVA believes similar results can be expected when treating COVID-19’s virus, SARS-CoV-2.
Coming to disinfection of air, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does, however, recommend air-conditioned public spaces “consider using ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) as a supplement to help inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19, especially if options for increasing room ventilation are limited.”
It is not surprising, therefore, that the public would feel more reassured if UVGI was used as part of the cleaning regime in busy areas, especially in the wake of COVID-19. In all the public places suggested, a survey of over 200 Americans showed the vast majority thought that busy traffic areas be disinfected with UVC. Although schools and universities, hotels, and hospitals came out the highest, restaurants, libraries, gyms, supermarkets, department stores, and airports were all selected by well over 60% of respondents.
While it is easy to suggest that more thorough cleaning and disinfection makes sense in public spaces, why is UVGI a good option? UVGI technology is effective in controlling the spread of common illnesses including colds, flu, and deadly diseases such as tuberculosis and measles. It has also been shown to be highly effective against coronaviruses, including COVID-19.
Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) is an established means of disinfection and can be used to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Low-pressure mercury discharge lamps are commonly used in UVGI applications and emit shortwave ultraviolet-C (UV-C, 100–280 nanometer [nm]) radiation, primarily at 254 nm. Air disinfection is accomplished via several methods: irradiating the upper-room air only, irradiating the full room, and irradiating air as it passes through enclosed air-circulation and heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems.
Unlike manual cleaning methods with sprays and wipes, UVGI Technology disinfects everything it falls upon and is over 99.99% efficient at killing pathogens. It leaves no residue and, once a cleaning cycle is complete, there is no need to wait until the area can be used again. The use of UVC rays is a proven method of disinfection and has been used to sterilize areas such as medical settings and food production areas for many years, making it an ideal option for manual cleaning of large areas, such as the facilities suggested in the survey.
Ultraviolet light is categorized based on its wavelength, measured in nanometers. UVC (100-279 nm) at 254 nm germicidal ultraviolet light has long been shown to destroy the outer protein coating of viruses that cause measles and the SARS-corona virus—a close relative of the coronaviruses that cause COVID-19. As direct exposure to UVC rays causes irritation and damage to skin and eye tissues, care must be taken to ensure that the UVC light is not visible to the naked eye at any time.
The HVAC (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning) industry has seen a massive boost in the past few years due to its rising demand in commercial buildings, schools, hospitals, hotels, workplaces, etc, where a controlled environment is optimum for digital infrastructure which has seen a rapid rise. While HVACs provide adequate ventilation and acceptable air quality for the indoor environment, the change in the safety guidelines amidst the ongoing pandemic warrants a technology that offers a virus-free indoor environment. Viruses, bacteria, mold, spores, fungus, etc. can grow rampantly inside the damp and dark HVAC systems and get distributed all over the buildings through the air-conditioning systems, thus making your indoor environment infectious, unhealthy and unsafe, especially during these uncertain times.
Research has shown that building occupants exposed to such unhealthy environments can develop health issues, including sinus, congestion, headaches, allergy, asthma, and upper respiratory ailments, along with colds and flu, commonly referred to as ‘Sick Building Syndrome’.
The HVAC system can act as a carrier to circulate a variety of air-borne contamination coming from a variety of sources. Transmission of airborne diseases through HVAC is more prevalent nowadays than previously encountered. UVGI technology for HVAC System can be installed straight in the ducting system in which will disinfect moving airstreams by inactivating airborne microorganisms found within air-borne diseases that can affect between 10 and 20% of people and are fatal in some cases.
The introduction of UVGI technology for disinfecting air in enclosed spaces can curb the spread of airborne diseases, especially in places that use central air conditioning, like offices and shopping malls. UVGI or Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation is a disinfection system that uses UVC rays to eliminate disease-causing viruses, bacteria, fungi, and molds present in our surroundings. Infrastructures that have HVAC systems installed in their premises can adapt to this disinfection technology for a better and safe indoor environment.
There are two primary ways in which UVGI( On-coil & In-duct) applies to HVAC when it comes to protecting surfaces against pathogen agents, according to a featured article on limiting the spread of contagious diseases with germicidal UV published in HPAC Engineering. The UVGI on-coil is primarily used for keeping the coil clean and disinfected, where the UV light falls on the coil and kills all viruses and infections; UVGI in-duct is used for air purification of the desired environment, where the air being circulated is disinfected before being returned from the system.
According to a paper published in Public Health Reports, UVGI is most effective in preventing infections that are chiefly spread through smaller droplets and not by direct contact or larger respiratory droplets.
While using UVGI, it is important to consider factors such as the sensitivity of microorganisms to UVGI, the dose of UVGI required to kill them, humidity, and weather conditions. Further, UVGI relies on air circulation in a room, which means the circulation of air needs to be such that air from below the room, where the pathogen is generated reaches the upper portions of the room, where the UVGI can trap the pathogen.
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 mold 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.
Alfaa UV’s ULTRACOIL ensures deep cleaning of coils in the safest and most eco-friendly way. There is no worry about the damaging of coils, which is highly likely with conventional chemical and scrubbing methods. The Ultracoil with its unique Parabolic Reflector System proactively removes the bio-films (layer of slimy, sticky substance that houses the bacteria, viruses, mold, spores, etc.), thus ensuring that the air does not get contaminated through the coil and drain pans.
Airborne contamination comes from a variety of sources and circulates majorly through the HVAC system. In-duct ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) systems treat moving airstreams in heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems by inactivating airborne microorganisms found within. Airborne transmission of diseases through HVAC systems is much more prevalent nowadays than previously encountered.
Alfaa UV’s ULTRADUCT solution provides assured single pass disinfection of airborne bacteria and viruses. It is installed in supply or return ducts. The Ultraduct also increases the life of HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) by reducing the load of live organisms
To ensure the well-being of customers, public places can rely on UVGI technology. Alfaa UV has come up with an industrial air disinfection solution that kills all the harmful microorganisms like viruses, bacteria, fungus and mold through UVC rays. It is the best air disinfection system that gives all-around protection for employees and customers staying within the premises of the building. 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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