Researchers have found that continuous low doses of "far ultraviolet C" (far-UVC) light can kill airborne flu viruses without harming human tissues.
"If our results are confirmed in other settings, it follows that the use of overhead low-level far-UVC light in public locations would be a safe and efficient method for limiting the transmission and spread of airborne-mediated microbial diseases" said the lead author of the study David J. Brenner, Professor at Columbia University.
This study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, was designed to test if "far-UVC" light could efficiently kill aerosolised influenza virus in the air, in a setting similar to a public space, the researchers said.
"The 'far-UVC' light has a very limited range and cannot penetrate through the outer dead-cell layer of human skin or the tear layer in the eye, so it's not a human health hazard," Brenner said.
"But because viruses and bacteria are much smaller than human cells, far-UVC light can reach their DNA and kill them," Brenner noted.
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