As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been increased public efforts to reduce the transmission of viruses and diseases inside public gathering buildings and facilities. We view airborne contaminants created by people coughing and sneezing in a room completely differently than we did at the beginning of 2020.

Mask mandates, social distancing, and quarantine procedures are just some of the available methods of personal protection to combat the spread of viruses and diseases.

However, what if we were able to have a proactive measure in place that would, within seconds, destroy the harmful airborne pathogens in the room using the circulation of the building’s HVAC system? Transmission of viruses and diseases occurs mostly indoors because of the limited UV exposure that helps disinfect these microorganisms naturally.

The sun naturally produces three types of UV light. UV-A and UV-B are the two most referenced as you might have noticed from sunscreen marketing and package labeling. However, UV-C is the third and most efficient light measurement on the UV spectrum for killing bacteria and viruses. When the sun’s rays head to the earth, UV-C gets trapped in the upper atmosphere layer. Since we can’t retrieve this from the ground, we have created UVGI lamps that have the same frequency of between 100 – 280 nanometers. Both LED and low-pressure mercury discharge lamps are just some of the types of light technology advances that manufacturers have developed to harness the power of the sun’s UV-C rays and eradicate the DNA or RNA chain of any living organism for air, water, and surface area disinfection.

Our earth’s atmosphere protects us from UV-C rays specifically, as it has the power to destroy any pathogen with a DNA or RNA chain and the light’s rays need to be out of direct exposure to humans. There are measurements within this UV-C spectrum that are less harmful to humans, but the proven rate that will kill a cell instantly at a 99.99% efficiency is 254nm. UV-C installations in HVAC systems address things such as the distance of the pathogens to the light for faster kill rate, total containment of the light’s rays from direct human exposure, the use of the HVAC system’s air circulation so that air is always moving past the light for best reduction of airborne transmission of viruses, diseases, and allergens.

As we further our science publications in the use of UV-C technology and the various applications that it can be used for, we find that the social engineering of these devices is just as important as physics engineering. We will continue to need to set measures of protection for our overall public health and safety in public spaces. It’s up to organizations and businesses like Purification LLC to make these UV-C implementations simpler, more practically applicable, and inexpensive for all indoor buildings that congregate people in small and large crowds. UV-C HVAC installations are just another solution for killing the harmful germs that are produced constantly by individuals that cough or sneeze in enclosed areas.