Can UV Help Protect Your Homes Against COVID-19?

Can UV Help Protect Your Homes Against COVID-19?

Many discoveries are born out of incredibly difficult circumstances, and in these trying times people are looking everywhere for answers to protect against the novel coronavirus. Ultraviolet C (UVC) light has been proven effective in neutralizing viruses, but what about with COVID-19? Keeping your residents and communities safe is a priority, but could this technology help, and is it even safe?

Inexperienced individuals are inserting all sorts of cures and treatments with hopes to deal with the fears associated with COVID-19. Specific types of UV light have the potential to defend against viruses like COVID-19. Although, at the moment this technology has not been proven to work in terms of safety. Obviously, our first priority as residential assisted living owners and operators is to protect our seniors. Exposing them to additional danger is not the way forward.

Unfortunately, according to Willard Power Vac serving the Dalles, cleaning supplies and resources are running low, and disinfecting surfaces and equipment is evolving into an ongoing challenge for caregivers. This can seriously threaten efforts to contain COVID-19. In seeking creative and effective solutions, many senior living facilities are looking at UV lighting. Lumenant is a senior living company that specializes in UV lighting, energy and technological solutions. Ultraviolet C (UVC) light is proven effective at neutralizing previous strains of coronavirus. As a result, there has been great interest in using it as an additional method of cleaning spaces and equipment potentially infected with the novel coronavirus.

The ABCs Of UVC 

UVC lighting has been proven effective on previous coronaviruses. Some scientists suggest it will work on COVID-19 as well. This technology has been used in hospitals for years to sterilize medical instruments and is known to work on hard surfaces.

 In addition to decontaminating rooms and common areas, these lights can potentially disinfect personal protective equipment (PPE). If the application is effective, it can benefit others items such as walkie talkies, cell phones, and regularly used pens. Experimental trials of UVC lights are currently being used around the world to help combat the spread of COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released guidance on the use of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) for disinfecting respirators. As a result, the University of Nebraska hospital is using UVC light to sterilize masks so that they can be reused. Also, UVC lights are being used on public transportation, banks and other institutions globally to prevent coronavirus spread. 

Will Any UV Light Work To Prevent The Spread Of COVID-19?

According to the CDC, not all UV lamps provide the same intensity, thus treatment times would have to be adjusted accordingly. Not all lighting is created equally. Moreover, UVGI is unlikely to kill all the viruses and bacteria on a filtering facepiece respirator. This is because of the shadow effects produced by the multiple layers in the filter construction. The UVC carts for cleaning supplies in residential assisted living are not a substitute for caregivers, but an additional weapon in your arsenal. Do everything in your power to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in your senior community. In 1878, scientists discovered that they could harness UVC to kill microorganisms. Since then, UVC has become a staple method of sterilization. Although there hasn’t been any research looking at how UV affects Covid-19 specifically. Recent studies have shown that it can be used against other coronaviruses, such as SARS. As a result, a concentrated form of UVC is now on the front line in the fight against Covid-19. Only the proper amount of UV light can prevent some viral particles from making more copies of themselves.

UVC Lighting Has Drawback

UVC lighting is actually dangerous when exposed to human skin. Did you know that UVC can cause some really miserable effects if you’re exposed? You know that gritty feeling you get if you look at the sun? It’s like that times 10, in just a few seconds. To use UVC safely, you need special equipment and training. The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a stern warning against people using UV light to sterilize their hands and other parts of their skin. The wavelengths in most UVC lighting will kill human skin cells and damage the DNA. Even worse, in some cases the bacteria and viruses don’t come off your hands because in some cases they are too small for the light to reach. On the other hand, UV rays are strong enough to kill flu viruses suspended in the air. It’s important to know that one of the simplest prevention measures you can take to limit the spread of the coronavirus is proper hand-washing. UV lighting is dangerous to human skin and difficult on the eyes.  

When Does The CDC Recommends Hand Washing With Soap And Water:

  • Before eating, 
  • After using the bathroom, 
  • After blowing your nose, 
  • After coughing or sneezing, and 
  • Before and after caring for a sick friend or a family member. 

In new guidance, the CDC now also recommends you wear cloth masks in public. For additional information on caring for seniors during this difficult season of social isolation, read: How Are Different States Dealing With COVID-19?

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The Residential Assisted Living National Association is here to provide accurate and timely information, resources and support for RAL owners and staff. Facts, laws, rules, and orders currently are rapidly evolving during this COVID-19 pandemic. During these unprecedented times we encourage you to stay up to date with all the information and advice from organizations like the CDC and World Health Organization. We encourage you to cooperate with health officials and adopt the advice they suggest.

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