According to a recent TECHWAI article, ultraviolet germicidal lights, vital in battling diseases like COVID-19, can inadvertently produce indoor air pollutants. While newer UV lights that emit at 222 nanometers are considered safe, MIT's research reveals that they can set off chemical reactions leading to harmful compounds indoors. UV light, when interacting with oxygen in the air, creates ozone, which can be a health hazard. It also triggers oxidation reactions, producing potent oxidizers known as OH radicals.
These radicals, when they react with volatile organic compounds found in indoor settings, generate harmful oxidized volatile organic compounds. These compounds can accumulate indoors due to limited ventilation, indicating the need for balanced use of UV lights alongside proper ventilation, rather than replacing it. Further research is needed to confirm these findings in real-world indoor settings.