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Coronavirus crisis shines new light on microbe-blasting UV technology

Coronavirus crisis shines new light on microbe-blasting UV technology

Tokyo — New lighting technology being pioneered in the U.S. and Japan may help to make riding the subway, going to school or moving through other public spaces as safe as a walk around the living room, despite the threat of coronaviruses and other pathogens.

 

The idea is to suffuse indoor areas with continuous, low doses of short-wavelength ultraviolet light. As anyone who's had a sunburn knows, conventional UV light exposure is hazardous to humans, including the UVA light from the sun and UCV light currently used to kill pathogens. Both cause skin cancer and eye damage.

But a growing body of research shows ultraviolet light at the far end of the light spectrum — "Far-UVC" — hits the sweet spot: It's harmless to humans but still lethal enough to disarm bacteria, viruses and other disease-causing microorganism.


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