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New air purifier uses UV light to kill viruses like COVID-19

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Air purifiers could become a mainstay for hospitals, offices and hospitality locations

A US manufacturer has launched a new range of UV-C LED commercial devices that actively kill all airborne pathogens, including COVID-19.

The SafeAirUV system from UV Health Group can circulate air while removing any harmful viruses and bacteria from it, which could help speed up the return to normality after the pandemic.

After being tested at the University of Missouri Laboratory for Infectious Disease Research (LIDR), the device has shown it can kill over 99 per cent of pathogens to dispense clean and safe air.

It uses UV-C LED light to eradicate these microbes and the light is sealed in a chamber to make sure no human is exposed to it, as it can cause some health complications.

Although this is not the first system of its kind, UV Health believes it is more effective than some of its competitors as it has the ability to eliminate larger pathogens which other units can struggle with.

The use of UV light as a disinfectant has been particularly prominent since the start of the pandemic as it offers a hands free way to keep surfaced and air clean.

German solar company Frenell began distributing its own version of the air purifier last year which can also eradicate airborne disease in a fraction of a second.

These filters will have particular uses for companies looking to retain their office space and have their remote employees return.

Honeywell International recently ran a survey that said 68 per cent of workers do not feel safe working in their employer’s buildings, with one in four saying they would look for a new job rather than return to a site that didn’t implement new safety measures.

Other systems that simply detect viruses like COVID-19 have also been in development for some time now. The Korea Institute of Science and Technology recently created a small monitoring kit that was able to identify viruses in the air within 50 minutes.

Hospitals will also be another benefactor of devices like the SafeAirUV system as they look to eradicate infectious diseases like COVID-19 from their premises.

The Walton Centre in Liverpool, which cares for vulnerable patients, was one of the first hospitals in the country to benefit from this kind of technology. Staff said UV light was more effective than antibiotics as the bacteria could not adapt to repel it.

The system from UV Health has been integrated into two of its product lines, meaning it can be installed in drop ceilings or mounted onto any service.

Dr. Paul Anderson, associate director for LIDR, said of the device: “The rise of epidemic infectious diseases and pathogens over the past decade culminated in COVID-19, if anything, we learned that we can’t afford to be reactive to future health crises.

“The best defence against the inevitability of future pandemics is a proactive product guaranteed to eradicate all airborne pathogens.

“In our tests, the SafeAirUV System quickly inactivated the SARS-CoV-2 virus to below a detectable amount.”

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