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COVID-19: How Is the Virus Affected by UV light?

As more COVID-19 cases steadily rise within the country, more individuals will be looking for disinfectants to clean surfaces and sanitize the air. However, just like most products, these disinfectant sprays, wipes, and bottles of alcohol will eventually run out if used almost all the time.

Of course, most of these disinfectants are somewhat “effective” in keeping us safe from the virus, mostly since it’s known for staying on surfaces and in the air for an extended period. But how would a reusable device, such as a UV light, fair against viral particles in the air and on surfaces? There’s been lots of speculation on whether UV light can kill viruses.

In theory, UV light has been known to damage cell walls and protective proteins of most microbes. But how does it do against the coronavirus? We’ll be taking an in-depth look at how UV lighting can help with the fight against COVID-19.

How Does UV Light Play a Role in the Disinfection Process?

Right before we can answer whether UV lighting can kill these types of viruses, we must first look into how the disinfection process works for the conventional means of disinfecting and how UV light kills these viruses.

There are two types of UV disinfection methods:

  • The first type of UV disinfection will usually involve the controlled application of chemicals. These chemicals will destroy the essential proteins of these microbes.
  • The second type of UV disinfection will involve UV radiation lighting that will pierce through the body of these virulent agents and microbes, which can effectively destroy their essential functions.

As most of us know, UV lamps have been used even before the pandemic to kill bacteria and disease-carrying microbes.

Since it’s quite an effective way of killing microbes, most laboratories and facilities will incorporate the use of UV-C lamps (which is the most vital type of UV lamps) in highly contagious areas.

It’s important to note that the primary mode of transmission for COVID-19 is through the airways. Studies have shown that being in an area that doesn’t have good air circulation can often lead to infections. The Center For Disease Control And Prevention recommends that air circulation be the top priority for most establishments. Windows on your building and in your car should be replaced and repaired to ensure stable air circulation.

Fortunately, there are auto glass repair services that can replace sealed windows of buildings and cars.

Does It Eliminate the Virus?

However, there are a variety of studies that suggest that the coronavirus can be eliminated with UV lighting. Together with Penn State’s Roman Engel-Herbert, several Japanese collaborators have indicated that UV lighting may help kill the virus but only if it’s in high UV doses.

The issue here is that most handheld products can’t emit the same intensity as UV lights plugged in. However, extensive research and development have produced a steady power supply for these handheld UV lamps that can make it useful to kill microbes, and maybe even the coronavirus.

Can It Damage the Body?

Even though UV lighting does help break down virulent materials and microorganisms, it doesn’t necessarily choose what it does to eradicate. So, yes, UV lighting can damage the body. But generally speaking, we understand that UV has some degree of danger, especially when it comes to radiation.

In the same way, when your skin is exposed in long intervals to the sun, UV lighting can have the same, if not worse, detrimental effects on your skin.

But when it comes to products that incorporate UV lighting, some safety precautions are built-in designs for these products. For instance, UV-C lamps include ozone filters known to filter out harmful radiation levels that would “fry” the skin.

What Should You Buy?

UV light

There are currently UV-C lamps that have been used by businesses and households to sterilize different types of surfaces.

In several countries in Asia, there are online shipping businesses selling handheld UV-C sterilizers that can come in handy in any situation. Most of the time, these will come in the form of lamps, while some will look like wands. In most of these countries, these will cost around $40 for one.

Even though you can easily buy these products online, it’s still important to do some background check on the product first. There will be products marketed to get customers’ attention but won’t deliver on the function.

Users should be aware that air purifiers with UV features are not listed as effective ways of killing the virus.

In summary, there’s a lot of evidence that points that UV lighting does help eliminate the virus. In terms of how UV light does affect the coronavirus, much extensive research still needs to be done, mostly when the virus is known for being heat-resistant.

However, it’s important to note that information regarding the virus is always changing, and the characteristics that the virus exhibits have been considered unconventional by most experts. Thus, it’s essential to take as many precautionary measures as possible.

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