Can UV Light Kill Viruses?

Written by on May 5, 2020

By Dr Jeff Bennert

A conversation has started around the use of ultraviolet light to treat COVID-19. The primary source of this is known as Healight. This experimental treatment could have applications for coronavirus. After a bioscience company called Aytu signed a global license with Cedars-Sinai, politicians, researchers, reporters and the public have become intrigued with the idea that this could be one way to treat COVID-19. 

Any viable treatment for coronavirus captures public attention. At Air Oasis, we have known about the power of UV light for decades. UV light is the heart of our AHPCO® technology which we use in most of our products. This is not a new concept to the medical community, either. While it’s encouraging to hear that novel treatments are being considered from all angles, medical researchers have not made any definitive statements about whether or not UV light could work to kill this coronavirus. Consumers need to be careful when considering alternatives to known, proven solutions.

Because we use UV light as part of our strategy for air purification, we want to contribute to the conversation. Here is an outline of what UV is, the health benefits of UV light and insight into whether or not UV light can kill viruses.

UV/Ultraviolet Light in Air Purifiers

UV or ultraviolet light is part of our advanced PCO system we call AHPCO®. Implemented in our Air Oasis nano Induct™ and G3 Series purifiers, it can be used in homes and offices for extended periods of time. Our extensive research and experience have proven that UV works best as part of a larger system. 

There are three functions that work in tandem to purify air in the home:

  1. LongLife+ germicidal UVC lamps have a special coating that maintains their intensity. We have refined this application of UV to the point where it can now outperform standard quartz lamps, generating purified air for up to 7,000 hours longer.
  2. AHPCO® technology uses catalyst metals, nano-particles and hydrating agents. These work on a molecular level to clean the air, without needing filters.
  3. Our special lamps and catalyst coating combine to make our proprietary AHPCO cells, which are found in all of our UV air purifiers.

UV air purifiers are energy efficient and, unlike HEPA or alternatives, don’t rely on filters. They can improve your family’s health.

Health Benefits of UV Light

There are many benefits to using ultraviolet or UV in air purifiers. UV light rays can incinerate bacteria and keep microorganisms from reproducing. They do this by damaging the genetic material that contributes to that reproduction. UV light can stop microbes that cause illnesses, which prevents the spread of disease.

Some health benefits that our customers have found, after using an air purifier with UV light, include:

  • Reduced allergens and irritation
  • Improved symptoms of asthma
  • Reduced exposure to germs, including measles, the flu and the common cold virus (which can be a strain of the coronavirus)
  • Fewer odors

Some people have found that they need to clean less, because an air purifier reduces the amount of airborne particles and dust in their home. Ultimately, we have seen families whose immune systems are strengthened and the frequency of illness reduced by installing a UV air purifier.

UV Light and Viruses

Published studies over the past several decades have proven that UV light can inactivate flus and viruses. It does this, as we mentioned before, by deactivating the cell’s ability to replicate and transcribe. Specifically, studies have seen a decrease in the following viruses after exposure to wavelengths of UV light:

study published in January of 2020 found reduction of the following viruses in platelets after ultraviolet C light exposure:

  • SARS-CoV
  • NiV

UV light is used to sterilize equipment and kill germs. It can be effective for killing viruses. However, not every kind of UV product you find is right for this purpose.

Warning: Bad UV Products

The World Health Organization issued a warning that UV radiation and UV lamps alone should not be used to combat the coronavirus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention previously recommended the use of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) as part of their crisis standards for decontamination. This is not the same technology as a UV lamp you might find online. Some marketers are making false presentations and insinuate that simple UV lights, not part of a greater ionization technology, can be safely and effectively used in residential and office settings. Please exercise caution when you are shopping online for a UV product for COVID-19. 

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