Ultraviolet, UV, is a form of electromagnetic radiation. UV radiation results in both chemical and biological effects, which have healing properties when used in moderation. UV light is a form of radiation that has been more recently explored in efforts to help combat COVID-19. The benefits of UV lighting in the built environment may have the potential to yield positive results for both the physical space and its inhabitants.
In the past, UV radiation has been used in industrial, medical, and dental practices. UV radiation has the ability to cure ink and resin, phototherapy, fluorescent effect, and killing bacteria. When the COVID-19 pandemic was declared and efforts turned to the prevention of the spread of the virus, discussion about the incorporation of Ultraviolet lighting, a form of radiation, became a potential combative measure to battle COVID-19.
Various studies have concluded that UV light can contribute to the eradication of airborne COVID-19 particles and to disinfect surfaces. In efforts to prevent the spread, a multitude of cities and hospitals have taken advantage of UV light to help disinfect public areas and medical supplies. It is important to note that UV lighting has not been implemented in an area while people were inhabiting the space. Overexposure to UV light can be harmful to the human body and is advised against by health professionals. It is advised the UV lighting is only used while the space is unoccupied.
Recently the possibility of UV light being used in HVAC systems has been a topic of conversation. Consulting engineers have been educating clients about the use of UV light inside HVAC and ductwork systems to treat the air circulating through spaces. The potential of UV light making its way into commercial space is a promising possibility, as businesses and designers alike, all strive to create safe healthy spaces.