Revolutionizing UV Light Technology

Category: Blog

The Coronavirus and UV Disinfection

The Coronavirus poses a unique challenge to municipalities and health organizations trying to control its growth among populations. When COVID-19 began spreading, it was a novel strain, so theoretically anyone could get or give the infection and nothing was slowing down the infection rate.

Like other respiratory viruses, the Coronavirus is transmitted through person-to-person contact or in inhalation of infected aerosols. The effective reproductive number tends to perform exponentially until vaccines, other conditions or control methods are able to stop it in its path. Many health and government organizations around the world are hard at work to develop vaccines, effective control methods, and medication to treat patients. Yet, statistical projections suggest that in order to control the virus more than 60% of the transmissions must be blocked. 

At PURO Lighting we are interested in the viral contraction and early stages of epidemics as we focus on prevention, to stop outbreaks before they happen using our UV disinfection products, powered by Violet Defense® technology. A recent study performed by the Antimicrobial Test Laboratories fortified the evidence of the efficacy of UV-C disinfection and its ability to kill viruses including the Coronavirus. The study showed a greater than or equal to a 99.94% reduction in Coronavirus after UV-C exposure lasting 45 minutes to an hour.

To read more about the data on Coronavirus transmission, check out the WSJ article: 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-many-people-might-one-person-with-coronavirus-infect-11581676200

The Power of UV Disinfection, an Overview

UV is a form of electromagnetic energy with a wavelength from 10 nm to 400 nm that can be naturally occurring in sunlight or engineered in fixtures. For germicidal applications, it’s important to understand that the wavelengths of UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C light actually modify the genetic material of micro organisms that threaten human health. The electromagnetic energy destroys the ability of microorganisms to reproduce and causes photo-chemical reactions in nucleic acids. The UV energy also causes the inactivation of microbes by planting dimers in RNA and DNA causing mutations, cell death or failure to reproduce. 

It’s interesting that the basic understanding behind the technology has been around for a while, first catalyzed by Downes and Blunt 140 years ago, proving the antibacterial effects of sunlight. So why wasn’t it adopted in a more widespread way earlier? For a long time it was understood that antibiotics were more effective. And yet, over 2 million people every year in the US are infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. More recently, infection preventionists are returning to UV as we have come to understand the ability of microorganisms to build resistance, whereas, there have been no reports of microbes demonstrating an ability to build an immunity to light-based methods. 

In 2000, the Army recommended Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) for the isolation of disease and just three years later, the CDC endorsed the use of UVGI in hospitals and FEMA approved the use of bio-defense systems based on UVGI for buildings. Since then, UV disinfection products, like PURO Lighting’s fixtures and units, powered by Violet Defense® technology, have been gaining traction, as one of the smartest, fastest, and most effective ways to disinfect a room. 

To learn more, check out this report on a Guide to UV Light Disinfection, written by our technology partner, Violet Defense: 

https://purolighting.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Puro-Whitepaper_Guide-to-UV-Light-Disinfection.pdf

UV Disinfection on Textured Surfaces in Healthcare Facilities

Ever wondered what role fixture positioning plays in the efficacy of UV disinfection? The “canyon wall effect” describes a phenomenon in which UV light is blocked by “canyon walls” or the textured grooves to a surface, preventing it from reaching the deeper parts of the surface that often contain the most HAIs. 

A recent experiment found that overhead disinfection, in which the fixture light is parallel to the “canyon walls” is 1,250 times more effective than a UV-C source stationed perpendicular to the target surface. Healthcare surfaces, such as floors, chairs, countertops and over-bed tables tend to be grooved, creating microscopic grooved walls. Bacteria can survive on surfaces for a long time and are more likely to land on horizontal surfaces, or the canyon beds, than the textured surfaces or vertical canyons walls. Thus, the orientation of the fixture plays a key role in hospital disinfection. 

This is where our solution comes in. PURO Lighting’s Helo fixtures use pulsed Xenon light, powered by Violet Defense®, to disinfect surfaces from its inlay ceiling position, flashing down towards the surfaces. PURO Lighting products address the challenge of thoroughly disinfecting grooved surfaces by reaching more of the harmful bacteria living within the “canyon walls.” 

To read more about the “canyon wall effect,” check out this article: 
https://uvsolutionsmag.com/articles/2019/uv-c-effectiveness-and-the-canyon-wall-effect-of-textured-healthcare-environment-surfaces/

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