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Sci Rep ; 10(1): 10285, 2020 06 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-617064

ABSTRACT

A direct approach to limit airborne viral transmissions is to inactivate them within a short time of their production. Germicidal ultraviolet light, typically at 254 nm, is effective in this context but, used directly, can be a health hazard to skin and eyes. By contrast, far-UVC light (207-222 nm) efficiently kills pathogens potentially without harm to exposed human tissues. We previously demonstrated that 222-nm far-UVC light efficiently kills airborne influenza virus and we extend those studies to explore far-UVC efficacy against airborne human coronaviruses alpha HCoV-229E and beta HCoV-OC43. Low doses of 1.7 and 1.2 mJ/cm2 inactivated 99.9% of aerosolized coronavirus 229E and OC43, respectively. As all human coronaviruses have similar genomic sizes, far-UVC light would be expected to show similar inactivation efficiency against other human coronaviruses including SARS-CoV-2. Based on the beta-HCoV-OC43 results, continuous far-UVC exposure in occupied public locations at the current regulatory exposure limit (~3 mJ/cm2/hour) would result in ~90% viral inactivation in ~8 minutes, 95% in ~11 minutes, 99% in ~16 minutes and 99.9% inactivation in ~25 minutes. Thus while staying within current regulatory dose limits, low-dose-rate far-UVC exposure can potentially safely provide a major reduction in the ambient level of airborne coronaviruses in occupied public locations.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/adverse effects , Betacoronavirus/radiation effects , Disinfection/methods , Ultraviolet Rays/adverse effects , Virus Inactivation/radiation effects , COVID-19 , Cell Line , Coronavirus 229E, Human/radiation effects , Coronavirus Infections/radiotherapy , Coronavirus OC43, Human/radiation effects , Humans , Pandemics , Particulate Matter/radiation effects , Pneumonia, Viral/radiotherapy , SARS Virus/radiation effects , SARS-CoV-2
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