Achieving good air quality is paramount
Ultimately, the quest for good air quality is the key to minimising the spread of infection. One of the best proxy’s for this is the CO2 rate within a room. The higher the CO2 rate, the worse quality of air there is in the room as the air is not experiencing enough “changes” in an hour. For instance, a room with no windows or with the windows shut is going to experience low amount of air changes and have a higher CO2 rate, hence the calls for air quality monitors within buildings.
Ventilation has been actively advised as a method to help combat poor air quality. Whether natural or mechanical, this is expressed in the term Air Changes per Hour (ACH). Complementary air disinfection technologies, such as UV-C technology, having an equivalent air-cleaning effect called Equivalent Air Changes per Hour (eqACH). Opening a window can typically create 2-3 ACH, where UVC disinfection has been seen to create up to 30 eqACH, meaning this a much more effective method of treating air that contains virus particles and helping in preventing transmission. Simply put, opening a window creates fresh air, but UVC irradiation helps with infection control.
Certain indoor settings and environments require more air changes to help fight against the amount of bio-matter present within that air space. Schools, sports facilities, restaurants and hospitals require the most air changes due to proximity, breathing rate and occupancy levels amongst other factors. It goes without saying though that the more crowded the setting, the greater the transmission risk.
The benefits of UVC disinfection have been advocated by many health authorities and guidelines such as the WHO, CDC, NHS and Harvard Medical School. The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) have recently published in their guidance on emerging from lockdown and safely reoccupying buildings how UVC technology can be used to “improve air quality by removing or inactivating contaminants in indoor air”.
Benefits of UVC Technology
Its cost effective
Using this Electricity Cost Calculator - based off the Philips Portable Air Purifier with the wattage of (120W) and estimated use time of 10 hours per day, 365 days per year - you are looking at annual energy cost of £87.60 based of a price of 20p/kWh, and £65.70 at a 15p/kWh rate for the year. You can enter your specific tariff into the calculator though to get your accurate reading. If this technology reduces absenteeism through less by only 1 say, then the unit has paid for itself and more.
As a result of being cost effective, UVC disinfection is also energy efficient. With reasonably low wattage you achieve brilliant sterilisation effects. By investing in UVC technology, you also can change your current energy composition which typically relies heavily on HVAC systems for ventilation, or puts pressure on other heating bills if opening windows to create fresh air in a room.
Easy to use
Once installed by one of our certified UVC technicians, you are good to go. UVC technology becomes part of the infrastructure and works around you whilst you carry on living your normal lives.
UV-C is a long lasting, green technology. The mercury UVC bulbs have a typical life expectancy of over 10,000 hours and it’s even higher for UVC LEDs. Sterilising with light is natures way of sterilising, and reduces the reliance on the use of harmful chemicals, throwaway wipes and sprays. You can read more about this in my chapter featured in the book, Exploring the Green Economy.
Partners with Philips
Dakro Environmental are official partners with Philips Lighting who have been pioneers in this area of technology. The products which have been brought to market by Signify have been thoroughly tested. For instance, their upper-air UV-C airborne disinfection product demonstrated that 99.99% (Log 4 reduction) of SARS- CoV-2 virus was inactivated in 10 minutes with their wall-mounted luminaire. This is just in the air, they also have a range of products which can also quickly and effectively sterilise surfaces and objects too.
As a result of the benefits of this technology, UVC disinfection products have been installed all over the world in a range of different settings including:
Professional sports clubs
Overall there has been plenty food for thought, but knowing that the primary SARS-CoV-2 infection route is airborne, then measures that address air quality are absolutely paramount in tackling the spread of this viruses and other viruses. The more we protect ourselves and our staff, the more we protect our businesses.
Some of the benefits of UVC technology is that it’s energy efficient, affordable and easy to use, but ultimately UV-C is a safe and proven technology and one of the most highly effective methods in removing airborne pathogens.
This is supported by a breadth of evidence that has accumulated recently, but equally over decades as demonstrated by its effective use in previous pandemics. UVC was the ideal and sustainable mitigation method for airborne diseases in epidemics and pandemics then, and can help to play a role in protecting the spread of infections now and in the future.
I started exploring the benefits of UVC technology roughly 6 years ago when developing my first product, the DentaDenta UV Steriliser. This small strong case stores and sterilises your mouth guard, retainer or denture in just minutes using a UVC light. Now through Dakro Environmental, we can solve disinfection challenges for businesses. This might be looking at reducing the risk of airborne transmission in shared indoor spaces such as offices, or tackling some of the microbiological challenges faced in production factories. In one way or another, there’s a way for UVC technology to benefit our lives..