IES Publishes Report to Explain How UV Disinfection Could Help to Prevent COVID-19 Infection

In response to the rising number of disinfecting products and applications based on UV radiation for preventing the spread of COVID-19, the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) issued a new report by their Photobiology Committee, providing professional information for germicidal ultraviolet (GUV) disinfection and its potential to safely reduce the transmission of coronavirus.


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The report provided answers to frequently asked questions about GUV, drawing from expertise from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Harvard Medical School, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center, and from germicidal UV manufacturing and research organizations.

IES offered the report to provide timely and objective information on a proven technology that can reduce the spread of this highly contagious virus, noted Brian Liebel, IES Director of Standards and Research.

The report covered how UV radiation works to diminish bacteria and virus as well as explains disinfecting methods based on UV radiation. In addition, it also highlights the safety rules for applying UV disinfection for different light sources.

The committee report also cautions that ultraviolet disinfecting “wands” or other ultraviolet products for residential use—as they are inadequately proven and unregulated—may pose a safety hazard and are unlikely to provide the protection expected.

“The guidance included in this report should help medical professionals and consumers better understand germicidal UV products, and provides considerations for selecting and employing such technologies,” said Dr. David Sliney, chair of the IES Photobiology Committee. The report was approved through the same careful and rigorous ANSI-approved development process as an IES standard.

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