Many of the recommendations from the CDC to stop the spread of diseases and viruses in schools come from an “everyday preventative measure” approach with chemical cleaners, frequent handwashing, and vaccinations leading the way.
Their list includes things like staying home until at least 24 hours have gone by with no fever and covering your mouth when you cough. They also go so far as to suggest what the parents and kids should be doing in their time away from school to help ensure that infection does not transmit to other teachers, students, and faculty.
However, these are very user-error-driven solutions and are not always effective in the seconds that it takes for a virus or illness to spread. Also, these practices don’t apply if a teacher, staff member, or student engages with other people in their community outside of school hours.
A student may encounter a family member or person who is infected, and they may not express any symptoms until it’s too late. Studies have confirmed that pathogens on either surface areas or in the air may last in the room for a few hours or a few days.
This is also true of articles of clothing. By the time the person goes home and starts to feel sick, they may have already spread their illness to all others who come into contact with them.
Meanwhile, legislators have used UV-C technology for years to help stop the spread of disease in official government buildings. I believe UV-C needs to be implemented in every school’s safety protocols so children can enjoy these same protections. You might be surprised to hear, but the CDC first implemented UV-C technology in the 70s.
Other government buildings soon followed in the 80s to help combat bioterrorism. Universities such as Duke also, after studying its capability, implemented it into their lab as well as classrooms. Even the military, such as Arkansas Air National Guard, implemented UV-C technology not only in their campus, but also their aircrafts.
UV-C lights have the ability to stop the airborne and surface area transmission of illnesses within seconds. If a student coughs in the room and does not follow the proper protocol of covering their mouth, a UV-C HVAC installation will immediately circulate those pathogens through the HVAC system and expose those microorganisms to the UV-C light to eradicate them. There are also portable devices that can be put into classrooms that have an even faster and more effective kill rate. The results of UV-C are 100% safe when handled properly and leave no room for user error like many of the existing health and safety methods used today.
UV-C light destroys harmful pathogens because once exposed directly to it, the light penetrates the nucleus (information center) of the cell and destroys the RNA/DNA contained within it. From the research so far, experts say that there is no evidence that a microorganism can adapt to the light. This means that even all mutations of viruses or diseases are not able to withstand the exposure of UV-C. Any pathogen that is exposed to UV-C at 254nm will be destroyed instantly on contact.
When handled and installed properly, however, UV-C light is very safe and emits no harmful radiation or ozone.
Everyone remembers what it was like growing up as a student. Especially in the K-12 grades. Students lack self-awareness in most cases and can very easily cough on their hands or clothes and touch other surface areas or people without thinking so much about it. The alternative options to UV-C can also be harmful in the long term.
Businesses have developed chemical solutions to try to destroy pathogens, but these are also damaging to humans. Chemicals are aggravating to the lungs and too much exposure can cause health complications. It’s important to also note that not all UV-C companies are the same. Some UV-C companies either have the incorrect frequency of their devices to be able to destroy a pathogen or, they might use radiation to emit into the room to capture existing airborne pathogens.
All devices with Purification LLC have been tested and work at a rate of 99.99%. We are the leading innovators in UV-C technologies and will continue to evolve our products to allow anyone to implement UV-C in their home, business, or facility.
Editor’s Note: Nicholas Knudsen is founder of Valley-based Purification LLC.