Disinfection with Far-UV (222 nm Ultraviolet light)
An overview of Far-UV (222 nanometer) technology and its disinfection capability.
An outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic is an increased need for safe, disinfected public spaces. It is imperative to reduce risk in the commercial aviation industry, which moved one billion people across the globe in 2019.
Ultraviolet light (light at wavelengths between 100 and 400 nanometers) has well-known disinfection properties. Most UV disinfection systems use germicidal lamps of wavelengths 240nm-280nm, with the most common being 254nm. Unfortunately, exposure to 254nm UVC light also causes damage to skin and eyes in humans. However, recently published studies have demonstrated that UV light at 222nm has the same germicidal capabilities of 254nm light without damaging skin or eyes. The studies suggest that this may be due to the shorter UV 222nm wavelength (known as Far-UV, 200 to 235 nm) having reduced penetration depths in live tissue when compared with 254 nm light.
While the effects on live tissue are diminished, Far-UV (222 nm light being the most prevalent) has increased efficacy for killing bacteria and viruses. This paper provides an overview of Far-UV 222 nm technology and its disinfection capability. Far-UV 222 nm is safer and more effective than the existing 250 to 280 nm UVC systems, with advantages that include reduced UV damage to skin and eyes, faster on/off times, more rapid disinfection, and the elimination of mercury from the lamp.