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Kill COVID 19 with UV light?

Views:695     Author:Site Editor     Publish Time: 2020-04-02      Origin:Site

Kill COVID 19 with UV light?

March 28, 2020

"You would literally roast people," laughs Dan Arnold, incredulous.

Arnold works for UV Light Technology, a company that supplies disinfection equipment to hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and food manufacturers across the UK. Recently, when global concerns about Covid-19 reached new heights, it responded to a series of unusual requests.

"We received a request from someone about our equipment, who said, 'Why can't we just take one of your UV lamps and hang it at the supermarket? People can have it a few seconds before,' he says.

Among the many "health tips" currently available on the Internet, the idea that you can disinfect your skin, clothes or other objects with UV rays has proven to be extremely popular. A university in Thailand even built a UV tunnel through which students can pass to disinfect themselves.

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So is this a good way to protect yourself from Covid-19? And is it true that "the new coronavirus hates the sun", the sun will kill it immediately, as some social media claim?

In short: no. That's why.

Dangerous lightning

Sunlight contains three types of UV. First, there are UVA rays, which form the majority of the ultraviolet rays that reach the Earth's surface. It can penetrate deep into the skin and is responsible for 80% of skin aging, from wrinkles to age spots.

Then UVB, which can damage DNA in our skin and cause sunburn and ultimately skin cancer (scientists recently discovered that UVA rays can do the same). Both are well known and can be masked by most sunscreens.

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UVA and UVB rays damage the skin, but nothing is as harmful as UVC (photo credit: Getty Images)

There is also a third type: UVC. This relatively dark part of the spectrum consists of a shorter and more energetic light wavelength. It is particularly effective in destroying genetic material, whether human or viral particles. Fortunately, most of us are unlikely to find anyone. Indeed, atmospheric ozone filters it long before it reaches our sensitive skin.

At least until scientists find out that they could use UVC to kill microorganisms. Since its discovery in 1878, artificially manufactured UVCs have become a permanent method of sterilization, a method used daily in hospitals, planes, offices and factories. It is also crucial to renew drinking water. Some pests are resistant to chemical disinfectants such as chlorine and are therefore immune to failure.

Although the way UVC specifically affects Covid-19 has not been studied, studies have shown that it can be used against other coronaviruses, such as SARS. The radiation disrupts the structure of your genetic material and prevents the viral particles from reproducing further.

As a result, a concentrated form of UVC is at the forefront of the fight against Covid-19. In China, entire buses are lit up every night with ghostly blue light, while robots emitting UVCs occupy hospital floors. Banks even used light to disinfect their money.

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A bus is disinfected with UVC in Shanghai, China (photo credit: Getty Images)

At the same time, UV equipment suppliers recorded record sales and many increased production urgently to fulfill their orders. According to Arnold, all devices no longer have UV light technology.

But there is an important limitation.

UVC is a very bad thing, you shouldn't be exposed to it, Dan Arnold

"UVC is a very bad thing, you shouldn't be exposed to it," says Arnold. "It can take hours to burn UVB, but with UVC it takes a few seconds. When your eyes are open ... do you know the dark feeling you feel when you look at the sun? It is 10 am just after a few seconds. "

To use UVC safely, you need special equipment and training. The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a strict warning against people who use UV light to sterilize their hands or other parts of the skin.


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