With the current outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19), and in previous years, Bird Flu, Swine flu (H1N1), SARS (CARS-CoV), Ebola and even the regular seasonal Flu – we have been asked if germicidal lighting can help protect and disinfect against these infectious diseases.
There is one simple answer:
NO – In no situation should germicidal lighting be used to help prevent Coronavirus and should NEVER be installed outside of the very specialist equipment for which it is designed.
Germicidal lamps emit a short UV wavelength of light (between 200-280nm) and as a result are most harmful to organic matter.
They should NEVER be installed in an area where a person, be it adult or child, can be exposed to the light they emit. Very special care should be taken when handling and using these types of UV lights.
The type of UV radiation these light bulbs emit targets the DNA of microorganisms, causing cell death or making reproduction impossible. They’re certainly not the type of light bulbs to be used in the home. They’re mainly used in professional and industrial environments in processes such as:
- Water treatment
- Food sanitation
We cannot stress enough, germicidal lighting is for industrial use only. Do not use in the home.
Instead, please follow your government guidelines such as www.gov.uk in taking precautions to prevent the spread of germs and viruses.
Wash your hands frequently
Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
Maintain social distancing
Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
Practice respiratory hygiene
Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early
Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.
Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider
Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on whether COVID-19 is spreading in your area. They are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves.
For more information on how to keep your home germ free, read our guide – Germ magnets: how to protect your home from bacteria hotspots.