Can UV Rays Kill COVID-19?

A lot of information and disinformation is floating around out there. “Go outside to kill the virus.” “Get a UV light to kill the virus.” What can you believe?

UV Radiation on COVID-19

COVID-19 is such a new virus that proper testing has yet to be completed to make any strong conclusions.

Research on SARS, another coronavirus, showed that UV rays can make it inactive. Because of this study and others, experts believe that the same could be true for COVID-19.

Types of UV Rays

There are several types of ultraviolet light. UVA and UVB are the ones we are most concerned with at UV Skinz. They are the UV rays that cause sunburns and skin cancer.

While UVA and UVB can do a number on our skin, they aren’t believed to be effective in killing the coronavirus.

To sterilize, you will need UVC. This type of ultraviolet light is less prevalent. Most of it is filtered out by the Earth’s atmosphere.

It’s a good thing most UVC never makes it to us. It is very hazardous. Where it can take several hours to get a sunburn from UVB, UVC can take seconds.

Industrial Uses of UV Sterilization

Teams in Italy and China are using robots to sterilize hospitals using UV light. Affixed with UVC bulbs, robots can disinfect a hospital room in roughly 15 minutes.

Robots use UV radiation to sterilize hospital rooms.

Personal UV Devices

There are many consumer UV sanitizing products on the market. These range from bare light bulbs to small cases that fit a phone or keys. All come with claims of disinfecting your belongings in minutes.

Be very careful if you choose to use one of these devices. They use the extremely dangerous UVC radiation. Even short exposure can be harmful to the skin.

Showing Potential: Far-UVC

Researchers at Columbia University are working with far-UVC light. Light at this particular wavelength is safe for humans but can kill viruses.

Far-UVC light technology is already in production. It still needs FDA and EPA approval, so products won’t be on the market for at least several months.

In short, sunshine is not going to kill COVID-19. It can brighten your day, though. It can also give you a sunburn. So, get outside but stay covered.