Ultraviolet light has been shown effective at killing the novel coronavirus behind the COVID19 pandemic!
As the number of worldwide cases of COVID19 surpasses 1,000,000, it is critical that we have the most up-to-date information about how to face this threat. Seoul Viosys and Sensor Electronic Technology, Inc. (SETi), global leaders in UV Led technology, announced on April 2 that they were successful in killing 99.9% of coronavirus (COVID-19) in 30 seconds. The testing conducted by researchers at Korea University adds additional evidence that ultraviolet light is an effective tool to disinfect air and surfaces that may have been contaminated by the coronavirus. The UV technology had previously been shown similar effective against harmful bacteria such as E. coli, S. aureus, P. aeruginosa, K. pneumonia, and S. typhimurium.
There was already ample evidence that UV light is effective against this family of viruses. The CDC classifies microorganisms based on their level of resistance to being killed or inactivated by disinfection products. The EPA’s Emerging Viral Pathogen program uses these classifications to help give guidance on the anticipated efficacy of disinfection products against emerging pathogens, such as the coronavirus.
Coronaviruses are enveloped viruses, which due to their structure are the “least resistant to inactivation by disinfection.” In other words, they are among the easiest to kill. Whereas, small, non-enveloped viruses, less than 50 nm are highly resistant to inactivation by disinfection. This tier includes Caliciviridae (Norovirus), which has been repeatedly proven to be killed by UV light. Violet Defense’s technology has been proven effective at killing up to 99.9+% of norovirus at distances of up to 2 meters away.
While there are 7 known human coronaviruses that can infect people, the novel coronavirus poses greater danger because it is among one of the 3 times in the 21st century that a coronavirus outbreak emerged from animal reservoirs. The other two times were the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak that was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak that had killed nearly 800 people in 2002-2003.
The novel coronavirus behind COVID19, formally named SARS-CoV-2, is in the same genus of betacoronaviruses as SARS and MERS. Previous studies have shown that UV light could produce >5 log reduction on MERS-CoV coronaviruses on surfaces and bring viral infectivity of the SARS coronavirus to an undetectable level.
The evidence that already existed regarding UV’s effectiveness based on characteristics of similar viruses can now be combined with direct knowledge that UV light can kill 99.9% of the novel coronavirus behind the pandemic. Further guidance has been given by industry experts and researchers on the use of UV light on PPE equipment, such as for decontamination of N-95 masks.
“Three times in the 21st century coronavirus outbreaks have emerged from animal reservoirs to cause severe disease and global transmission concerns.”
— NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES