While the world has previously faced public health challenges because of the spread of harmful viruses and bacteria that may be fully or partly airborne, the devastation caused by the COVID-19 virus pandemic has been unprecedented. One of the incidental gains has been that UV disinfecting lights technology has received an intensified interest after many decades of under-utilization.
UV light technology is based on UVGI (ultraviolet germicidal irradiation), which is an effective way to kill harmful pathogens present in the indoor air environment, thereby mitigating the risks of airborne infection. It’s critical for building owners, facility managers, and employers to familiarize themselves with how the simple power of UV disinfecting lights can provide protection to the building occupants and visitors against infectious microorganisms in indoor spaces.
A Brief History of UV Disinfecting Lights
The history of UV disinfecting lights goes back nearly one century. In the 1930s, William F. Wells researched respiratory disease transmission—how infection from harmful viruses and bacteria could spread through aerosolized particles in the air. Wells investigated the germicidal properties of UV light and demonstrated that UVGI could be used to fight airborne spread.
Although the applications of UVGI achieved promising successes quickly after Wells demonstrated its efficacy, the utilization of UV disinfecting lights did not take off more widely due to a variety of factors including the rise of antibiotics and immunizations as well as ultimately unfounded concerns like UVGI was high maintenance. For decades, UVGI continued to remain a proven but neglected technology in the scientific fight against airborne transmission of infection.
A resurgence of tuberculosis (TB) in the 1980s, and its ability to spread through the air, sparked a renewed interest in UVGI. Backed by enduring research, it became increasingly evident that UVGI was a dependable way to combat growing concerns of airborne infection through drug-resistant TB, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and influenza epidemics.
The COVID-19 pandemic became the final trigger for the science and research community, as well as facility owners and operators, to take a serious note of the power of UV disinfecting lights. The team at Aerapy UV has been working on advancements in this technology since 2008 and is today at the forefront of delivering reliable HVAC and upper room UV light solutions, as well as UV for transport vehicles, to prevent infection in commercial indoor spaces.
Harnessing the Power of Sunlight With UV Disinfecting Lights
The solution to the challenge of airborne infection transmission is provided by nature itself. Buildings using HVAC systems are designed in such a way that they have little access to natural sunlight. It was always known that sunshine is vital not only for your body but also for your living and working spaces (Florence Nightingale famously said that hospitals must be designed in a way that daylight can enter everywhere.)
Finally, to scientifically prove this traditional wisdom, the research team at the University of Oregon carried out a study to compare the conditions in three types of indoor spaces: (a) dark and dusty rooms without any natural light; (b) rooms that were regularly exposed to daylight; and (c) rooms exposed specifically to UV light. The conditions were observed for 90 days.
The results of this study, published in the research journal, Microbiome, demonstrated what ancient wisdom always knew. The rooms without any exposure to daylight had the maximum germs, while the rooms exposed to UV light had the least number of viable germs. In short, further confirmation that UV disinfecting lights help eliminate indoor air infection.
Is Your Indoor Environment Protected from the Risks of Indoor Air Infection?
Aerapy’s innovative commercial-grade UV disinfecting light equipment is a winner of the ACHR News 2021 Dealer Design Awards. Choose this proven and advanced technology to protect your staff, customers, and business. For a free UV consultation, call us today at 866-994-2473 or reach us online.