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New UV Light Makes Indoor Air as Safe as Outdoors

Researchers found that far-UVC light reduces airborne microbes by 98% in under five minutes to reduce indoor transmission of airborne disease.

If there’s one takeaway from dining out during the pandemic, it’s that outdoor air is safer than indoor air. In that vein, a recent SciTechDaily article discussed a new type of UV light that makes the former as safe as the latter. A study conducted at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons found that ceiling-mounted far-UVC lights significantly reduced indoor person-to-person transmission of airborne diseases such as COVID-19 and influenza. In fact, it can reduce the amount of indoor airborne microbes by 98% in just five minutes.

Scientists have known for decades that conventional germicidal UVC light can rapidly kill bacteria and viruses, but it can’t be used indoors as it’s a potential health hazard that can damage the skin and eyes. far-UVC light, however, is just as effective but since it has shorter wavelengths, it can’t penetrate living human skin cells or eye cells. But it can kill microbes, which are significantly smaller than human cells. That’s as much proof as I need. Now let’s make all lights far-UVC and move on with our lives.

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