September 10, 2020
How Does Blue Light Kill Bacteria?
From Webmd……May 19, 2020 — The corona virus pandemic has breathed new life into a decades-old technique that can zap viruses and bacteria: ultraviolet light.
Hospitals have been using it for years to cut down on the spread of drug-resistant super bugs and to disinfect surgical suites. But there is now interest in using the technology in spaces like schools, office buildings, and restaurants to help reduce corona virus transmission once public spaces are open again.
“Germicidal ultraviolet technology has been around for probably 100 years and has had good success,” says Jim Malley, PhD, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of New Hampshire. “Since early March, there’s been just an enormous amount of interest in it, and research funding to institutions around the world.”
That is the current dilemma with the use of UV technology, Malley says. It has great potential, but it can cause serious permanent damage.
The sanitizing effects of UV lights have been seen with other corona viruses, including the one that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Studies have shown that it can be used against other corona viruses. One stude found at least 15 minutes of UVC exposure inactivated SARS, making it impossible for the virus to replicate. New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority announced the use of UV light on subway cars, buses, technology centers, and offices. The National Academy of Sciences says although there is no concrete evidence for UV’s effectiveness on the virus that causes COVID-19, it has worked on other similar viruses, so it would likely fight this one too.
Malley’s lab is doing research on how well UVC can sanitize devices and protective gear that first responders use, and have recently been forced to reuse, like N95 masks.
UVC light has been shown to inactivate (aka, ‘kill’) two corona viruses that are near-relatives of the COVID-19 virus: SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV. Therefore it is widely expected to be effective against COVID-19
UV-C can sterilize places where ultraviolet light cannot reach.
So the answer is probably because it inactivates all the other viruses around that are similar. What do you have to lose? This is not going away anytime to soon so better to be SAFE than sorry.