UV-LED lights 'highly effective' at killing HIV and coronaviruses

Researchers from the University of Toronto Scarborough have found easily installed UV-LED lights can easily decontaminate spaces.

Published Wed, Mar 30 2022 5:04 AM CDT   |   Updated Mon, Apr 25 2022 12:03 AM CDT

A study on the use of UV titled "A UV-LED module that is highly effective at inactivating human coronaviruses and HIV-1" has been published in the Virology Journal.

UV-LED lights 'highly effective' at killing HIV and coronaviruses 01 | TweakTown.com

Researchers from the University of Toronto Scarborough found that UV-LED lights that can alternate between emitting white and ultraviolet (UV) light, of the same form factors used in offices and public spaces, could effectively decontaminate surfaces. The lights can be cheaply retrofitted, allowing easy implementation to make areas safer and help curb the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic more quickly.

"We're at a critical time where we need to use every single possible stop to get us out of this pandemic. Every mitigation strategy that can be easily implemented should be used," said Christina Guzzo, senior author of the study.

UV exposure for 20 seconds reduced the growth of spores of the bacteria Bacillus pumilus by 99%. When testing UV light with droplets containing coronaviruses or HIV, as people would encounter them in public settings, 30 seconds of exposure reduced the infectivity of the viruses by 93%. Higher viral loads were more resistant to UV, but at worst, infectivity still dropped by 88% in the same amount of time.

"I was really surprised that UV could perform on the same level of those commonly used lab chemicals, which we regard as the gold standard. That made me think, "Oh, my gosh, this is a legitimate tool that's really underutilized,'" said Guzzo.

"You could disinfect in a way that wouldn't be infringing on people's enjoyment of that everyday 'normal' life that they long for," Guzzo continued.

You can read more from the study here.

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