How UV-C Air Sanitization Can Help Australia Reopen – General
If the current pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that there is no room for complacency to move forward.
Breaking out of containment does not mean that our invisible enemies have been eradicated. In fact, living with viruses and bacteria has required a much higher level of awareness and vigilance.
As the country begins to reopen, we must consider what is needed to reassure Australians that enough is being done to ensure their safety and that of their families. Gathering in high-traffic spaces such as transit hubs, offices, and schools can be intimidating after long periods of lockdown, as people no longer have full control over the environment they interact with.
This can become a matter of concern for parents who must leave the safety of their children in the hands of schools and early learning centers when they have to return to the office. So what can be done to not only help allay parents’ concerns, but also to ease the burden on educators and allow them to focus on connecting with their students instead?
One very viable option that has resurfaced because of the pandemic is the use of UV-C light. UV-C solutions offer a highly effective and established disinfection measure that could go a long way in providing safer environments for everyone.
Through its Philips brand of professional lighting solutions, Signify Company brings more than 40 years of UV-C experience to help in the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 virus, as well as other harmful pathogens. In response to the recent global crisis, the company has developed a specialized portfolio of UV-C air and surface disinfection products in close collaboration with renowned experts in the field.
But how do they actually work?
UV-C light is a category of ultraviolet light with wavelengths between 100 and 280 nanometers (nm). It has been used for decades as an effective tool to prevent the spread of contagious diseases in applications such as disinfecting water, surfaces and air in a very short time.
UV-C light inactivates viruses and microorganisms such as bacteria, molds, spores, fungi and yeasts by breaking down their DNA or RNA. It has been shown to be highly effective against all pathogens tested to date, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The specific light spectrum where maximum germicidal action occurs can be generated artificially by lamp technology, which is not only durable, but also more environmentally friendly than many other means of disinfection.
So what are the possibilities for schools?
By examining how UV-C solutions could be applied in schools and preschool learning centers; air quality is an obvious starting point. Viruses and bacteria can be airborne and spread when people breathe, speak, cough, sneeze, or participate in activities that generate aerosol particles or droplets. Heating, cooling, and air circulation in these spaces can further mobilize and distribute airborne particles.
The Victorian government recently purchased 51,000 air purifiers for Victorian schools. These units are intended for air purification by filtration only using HEPA filter technology. While this option can be effective in capturing airborne particles in specific dimensions, it does not neutralize them. Pathogens can remain active on filters for long periods of time.
The installation of Philips ‘top air’ disinfection units provides an additional defense mechanism against microorganisms in the air. These unobtrusive devices emit UV-C light controlled by the louver and reflector design to the upper areas of rooms, allowing quiet and efficient disinfection of the air in a space without interruption while ensuring the continuation of daily activities under where the device is active.
For the most effective disinfection of a room, âwall or ceiling mountedâ top air devices must be carefully distributed. This is where professional lighting design comes in, taking into account several factors that ensure maximum efficiency and safety of use.
Signify’s Ecolink floor disinfection unit takes purification and protection potential to the next level. Not only does this device offer advanced HEPA and carbon filtration capabilities, but it also incorporates UV-C light disinfection technology capable of neutralizing microbes, viruses and bacteria in the same manner as previously mentioned. The integrated UV-C function further reduces the risk of infection.
Trials have already started at Bambini Parkville
The Bambini Early Learning Center has already installed seven units in its staff room, dining room and two learning rooms. Parents of children attending the center, the majority of whom include nurses and doctors, expressed that they feel reassured that extra precautions have been taken to protect their families.
Research from Boston University found that Signify’s UV-C light sources reduced the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 virus on a surface to levels below detectable levels in as little as 9 seconds. Give a clear indication that UV-C light can play a valuable role in Australia’s safe return to pre-lockdown life. Due to the unobtrusive nature of the devices, children are not exposed to harmful or bothersome lights, and they can be used throughout the day.
The government has warned that returning to high-traffic public spaces, including transport hubs, work offices and schools, will lead to a significant increase in cases and infections in the community. Research has found that the deployment of UV-C light technology is an affordable and effective tool to protect and reduce outbreaks of COVID-19.
Geoff timbs is sales manager at Signify.
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