As a follow up to the article about the potential health risks of using germicidal UV to fight COVID-19 in the August issue of Bright Ideas, one reader asks:
Is the bottom line the fact that there are no UVC germicidal devices that are safe for use in the home?
Terry McGowan, director of engineering and technology, American Lighting Association, answers:
No, it’s not that there are no safe UVC germicidal devices available; it’s that the portable products that are typically being sold online for consumer use cannot be made completely safe to use and may not be effective because the UV dose cannot be controlled, especially in home situations where there are children or pets.
There are indeed safe UVC residential germicidal products, especially those which are permanently installed in air ducts as part of the heating/cooling system or on walls (like a lighting fixture) and which are designed to decontaminate the upper air in rooms. Such UVC germicidal products are highly effective and have been used for years. There is also a new residential ceiling fan product using UV germicidal LEDs which, when properly installed, works similarly too.
The COVID-19 virus has focused industry attention on developing new, safe and effective products. Perhaps DIY products will result, but for now, professional design and installation of UVC germicidal products is essential if both safety and effectiveness is to be ensured.
For the latest products and information about UVC germicidal lighting, call or visit a local ALA-member lighting showroom, or go online to ALALighting.com.