The following information is a current review of the literature for using UVC Lamps for SARS-CoV-2. In January of 2020, the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, was determined to be the cause of a viral pneumonia outbreak thought to have originated in Wuhan, China. This coronavirus disease referred to as COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) spread very quickly around the globe, devastating economies, and global public health systems. With more studies showing the efficacy of UVC lamps for SARS-CoV-2, we have an effective tool to fight the spread of this devastating virus.
Devastation of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Within three months, 1 million people worldwide had become infected with 50,000 deaths, after six months there were more than 10 million cases and more than 500,000 deaths. At the time of this writing in February 2021, there have been more than 115 million reported cases with more than 2.5 million deaths, and over 516,000 deaths in the United States alone. (John Hopkins, (2))
*UPDATE – as of 3/29/23, according to the World Health Organization, WHO, there have been 761,402,282 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 6,887,000 deaths globally, and 102,697,566 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 1,117,054 deaths in the U.S.
One of the most concerning observations about patients diagnosed with COVID-19 is that many people become infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus and can transmit the virus to others asymptomatically.
SARS-CoV-2 / SARS / MERS: All Coronaviruses
SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is a variant of the beta coronavirus family and is transmitted in similar fashion by surface contact or in the air. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), causes a severe viral respiratory illness and was first reported in February of 2003 in Asia. SARS spread quickly to 26 countries within four months before being contained, but not before 8,000 people became sick, with 774 deaths attributed to the disease . (NIH, 2020 Aug, (4))
Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), is also a coronavirus that was reported first in Saudi Arabia in September of 2012 and spread to 27 countries. MERS caused acute respiratory illness, including cough, shortness of breath, and fever. The World Health Organization reported 2,519 MERS cases, with 866 deaths and 80% of all cases in Saudi Arabia. (NIH, 2020 Nov, (4))
UV radiation in the UVC wavelength is proven to be effective in eliminating both SARS and MERS, and UVC lamps for SARS-CoV-2 are showing efficacy in many research testing studies conducted to date . (NIH, 2020 Oct, (5))
How SARS-CoV-2 is Transmitted
The SARS-CoV-2 virus can be transmitted when an infected person contaminates surfaces by coughing, sneezing, talking or even exhaling. Microscopic droplets are transmitted to surfaces where they can live for days, waiting to infect an unsuspecting person who casually touches the surface like handrails, door knobs, surfaces in public buildings, public transportation surfaces, or any other surface.
Droplets are also released and suspended in the air, just like other coronaviruses. There is an urgent need to interrupt the chain of these transmissions with devices and tools designed to inactivate the virus both on surfaces and in the air. It is estimated that the SARS-CoV-2 virus can live on surfaces for anywhere from 6 hours or up to 9 days based on the similarity to MERS and SARS, according to a study by PURPLESUN, 2020 COVID-19 Coronavirus Ultraviolet Susceptibility. (Kowalski, 2020, (3))
UVC Lamps for SARS-CoV-2: A Viable Tool to Combat COVID-19
Various measures, including access to testing and recent Emergency Authorization Use approvals of vaccinations, are making positive progress in slowing the spread of the disease with the goal in sight of getting life back to normal for much of the country and the world.
Even with the vaccination rollout, it is still critically important to take precautions to prevent spreading the SARS-CoV-2 virus with tools known to mitigate risk. Mask-wearing and social distancing are being practiced worldwide, with an additional focus on disinfectant cleaners, procedures, and tools that kill the virus and protect people. UV radiation with UVC lamps for SARS-CoV-2 is an effective tool in the fight against the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and in reducing the spread of COVID. (Kowalski, 2020, (3)) .
As concluded in the NIH study, Upper-room ultraviolet air disinfection might help to reduce COVID-19 transmission in buildings: a feasibility study, “the SARS-CoV-2 virus is relatively easily inactivated by UV-C light and that when aerosolized the virus is likely to have a UV susceptibility constant, Zur, that is similar to that exhibited by other coronaviruses in air. This suggests that SARS-CoV-2 when suspended in air should be reasonably easy to inactivate using UV light at 254 nm.” (NIH, 2020 Oct, (5))
According to a different study conducted by Boston University and Signify Research, Rapid and complete inactivation of SARS-CoV-2 by ultraviolet-C irradiation, surfaces contaminated with SARS-CoV-2 require seconds of exposure to UVC germicidal lamps at 254 nm for complete virus inactivation. Controlled studies were conducted on the inactivation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus as dried or wet droplets with varying times of UV exposure from .8 seconds to 120 seconds. With a UVC irradiance of 0.849 mW/cm2, partial inactivation was recognized while the infectivity of the virus was reduced to less than detectable levels in as few as 4 seconds for the wet virus and 9 seconds for the dried virus. (4) (5) (Storm, 2020, (8))
We already know that UVC germicidal lamps are effective in eliminating SARS and MERS . (NIH, 2020 Oct, ) Studies continue to show the same efficacy with UVC lamps for SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, with the PURPLESUN report showing a table of effective exposure dosage and time for inactivation of various coronaviruses, bacteria and fungi. (Kowalski, 2020, (3))
UVC Germicidal Lamps and Disinfection Devices
Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) is proven effective in eliminating the threat of many coronaviruses, drug resistant bacteria, mold, fungi, and other harmful pathogens. While most standard disinfectant cleaners are effective in eliminating the SARS-CoV-2 virus, adding UVC lamps for SARS-CoV-2 disinfection to normal cleaning routines provides another layer of defense with a proven, effective tool to eradicate the virus that causes COVID-19.
Various UVC germicidal devices such as upper room UVGI devices, UVC robots, air, and water purification systems are being deployed in public places like hospitals, airports, nursing homes, offices, schools, and public transportation systems. Many studies have been conducted on testing UVGI in transit buses, such as the Transit IDEA J-04/IDEA 53 , with results showing that UVGI provides additional protection for public transit passengers and employees against bioterrorism agents and common harmful pathogens like flu, viruses, bacteria, and mold on transit buses. (Berlin, 2018, (1))
A study by Biological Consulting Services in February of 2020 conducted for SanUVAir evaluated the effectiveness of UVGI installed on transit buses for air and surface disinfection. Efficacy was determined against various harmful pathogens as follows: (Picante 2020, (6))
- SARS-CoV-2 virus – 99.999% reduction
- Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) – 99.99 reduction
- Influenza A H1N1 – 99.999% reduction
- Polio Virus LSc 1 – 99.99% reduction
- Salmonella species, 6 variations – 99.99% reduction
Additional studies by SanUVAire show the Health Benefits and Pathogen Kill Rate of UVGI devices. UVC lights are proven to be a viable tool in combating the COVID-19 disease and inactivating the SARS-CoV-2 virus. (SanUVAire, (7)) UVC germicidal lamps designed to emit 254 nm wavelength are proven effective in eliminating viruses, bacteria, mold, mildew, fungi, E. Coli, Salmonella, SARS, MERS, and many other harmful pathogens. (SanUVAire, (7))
UVC Germicidal Lamps from LightSources: Powerful and Effective
LightSources is a leading global supplier of high-tech, high-quality germicidal UVC lamps found in air, water, and surface disinfection applications worldwide. We offer a wide selection of germicidal lamp types and sizes designed and engineered in our state-of-the-art glass factory for maximum, long-lasting effectiveness. Our UVC germicidal lamps include:
- Low-pressure mercury germicidal lamps
- Standard output
- High output
- Amalgam germicidal lamps
- Spot and pellet technology
- Medium-pressure germicidal lamps
- Ozone lamps
- Electronic ballasts
- Lamp components
LAMP PRODUCT DATA:UV Germicidal Lamps
LAMP Applications:UV Germicidal Applications
LightSources offers UV germicidal solutions with a wide selection of germicidal UVC lamps as well as custom design and engineering available. Our many proprietary UV lamp technologies enhance lamp effectiveness with extended operating life over comparable lamps. Contact us to learn more about our UVC lamps for SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.
1. Berlin, H., (2018), National Academics of Sciences Engineering and Medicine, Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation for Transit Buses, http://apps.trb.org/cmsfeed/TRBNetProjectDisplay.asp?ProjectID=2262
2. John Hopkins University of Medicine, Coronavirus resource center, https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html
3. Kowalski, et al, (2020 March), 2020 COVID-19 coronavirus ultraviolet susceptibility, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/339887436_2020_COVID-19_Coronavirus_Ultraviolet_Susceptibility
4. NIH, (2020, November 28), COVID-19, MERS & SARS, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7513931/
5. NIH, (2020, October 13), Upper-room ultraviolet air disinfection might help to reduce COVID-19 transmission in buildings: a feasibility study, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7566754/
6. Piacante, G, (2020, Feb), Biological Consulting Services, Evaluation of antimicrobial efficacy of Breathe-Safe & Surface Safe systems, Retrieved from https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/read/8147774/bcs-laboratories-inc-jkacocomjka-company-is-a
7. SanUVAire, Benefits of Breathe-Safe™ and Surface-Safe™ UVGI Systems, Retrieved from https://sanuvaire.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/breathe-safe-uvgi-test-healthbenefits.pdf
8. Storm, et al, (2020 September 21), Rapid and complete inactivation of SARS-CoV-2 by ultraviolet-C irradiation, DOI: https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-65742/v2