Not Just a COVID Killer: Ultraviolet Benefits Last Beyond This Crisis

UV-C lighting is getting increased attention as part of COVID-19 safety plans from employers in all sectors, but ultraviolet benefits stretch beyond the current crisis.

Often referred to as Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI), UV-C lighting can play a key role in air disinfection strategies and are critical to combating airborne illnesses or pathogens that can cause health problems.

Installed in either air handling units, air ducts, or upper room fixtures, ultraviolet has also proven successful at eliminating bacteria, fungi, moisture buildup, and other microorganisms which can negatively impact the health of whoever is breathing the air.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has validated the effectiveness of UV-C to inactivate microorganisms, such as COVID-19, influenza and others. It has included UV-C in its handbooks resulting in integration of this lighting technology in every stage of construction.

Here are some summaries of UVGI studies completed that demonstrate that the widespread application of UV-C lighting is going to continue long after COVID-19:

  • A study during an influenza epidemic found that rates of influenza infection in a Veterans Administration Hospital building with upper-room air treated by UVGI were almost 90% lower than rates of infection in nearby hospital buildings without UVGI.
  • In a study within three office buildings, UVGI systems were turned on and off multiple times while not informing occupants. Work-related, self-reported acute health symptoms were assessed using questionnaires. There were statistically significant 20% to 40% decreases in symptoms during periods of UVGI system operation.
  • A study installed UVGI systems in HVAC ducts of the 17 homes of 19 mold-sensitized allergic children.  The systems irradiated particles in air moving through the ducts, but not the cooling coils or drain pans. With the UVGI systems operating, there were statistically significant 30% to 50% improvements in several health outcomes.

Expert Light Group recognizes and supports ASHRAE’s stance on the effectiveness of UV-C. All customized ultraviolet solutions for our clients adhere to their recommendations. Schedule an in depth study to safeguard your facility for the long-term.