Alarm over consumer UV-C systems for Covid-19: Page 2 of 2

September 10, 2020 //By Nick Flaherty
Alarm bells ring over consumer UV-C systems for Covid-19
The Lighting Industry Association in the UK and the Global Lighting Association have both raised concerns about UV-C consumer disinfection systems to tackle Covid-19

“Additional work is being carried out by the LIA in the IEC, national committees of BSI and LightingEurope and we continue to monitor work from other international standardisation bodies and trade associations. LIA also maintain a dialogue with Public Health England on the topic,” said the LIA.

The Global Lighting Association (GLA) has moved its guidance down from 200nm to 180nm to include mercury lamps as well as LEDs for disinfection systems.

For effective disinfection purposes, the UV-C energy of UV-C devices is much higher than normal sunlight. These high UV-C energies can be a hazard to exposed humans and materials if proper safety measures are not observed, says the GLA.

“In this context, and in the midst of a global COVID-19 epidemic, the GLA is concerned at the proliferation of UV-C disinfecting devices – particularly being sold on the internet – with dubious safety features and inadequate safety instructions,” it said.

It is calling for comprehensive technical safety standards for UV-C devices. Standards are expected to be developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and other standards development organisations (SDOs), but will take many months before they are published.

Useful references

The LIA recommends that anyone wishing to understand better the safe and effective utilisation and application of UV-C should consider the content of the resources listed below.

The LIA says it has invested in lab equipment in the UK to test for electrical and optical safety, wavelength and the exposure required to achieve published kill rates, and this can be used for testing systems.

www.thelia.org.uk; www.globallightingassociation.org

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