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Far-UVC light: A new tool to control the spread of airborne-mediated microbial diseases

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  • Far-UVC light: A new tool to control the spread of airborne-mediated microbial diseases

    Sci Rep. 2018 Feb 9;8(1):2752. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-21058-w.
    Far-UVC light: A new tool to control the spread of airborne-mediated microbial diseases.

    Welch D1, Buonanno M2, Grilj V2, Shuryak I2, Crickmore C2, Bigelow AW2, Randers-Pehrson G2, Johnson GW2, Brenner DJ2.
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    Abstract

    Airborne-mediated microbial diseases such as influenza and tuberculosis represent major public health challenges. A direct approach to prevent airborne transmission is inactivation of airborne pathogens, and the airborne antimicrobial potential of UVC ultraviolet light has long been established; however, its widespread use in public settings is limited because conventional UVC light sources are both carcinogenic and cataractogenic. By contrast, we have previously shown that far-UVC light (207-222 nm) efficiently inactivates bacteria without harm to exposed mammalian skin. This is because, due to its strong absorbance in biological materials, far-UVC light cannot penetrate even the outer (non living) layers of human skin or eye; however, because bacteria and viruses are of micrometer or smaller dimensions, far-UVC can penetrate and inactivate them. We show for the first time that far-UVC efficiently inactivates airborne aerosolized viruses, with a very low dose of 2 mJ/cm2 of 222-nm light inactivating >95% of aerosolized H1N1 influenza virus. Continuous very low dose-rate far-UVC light in indoor public locations is a promising, safe and inexpensive tool to reduce the spread of airborne-mediated microbial diseases.


    PMID: 29426899 DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-21058-w
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