BBC article: Can you kill coronavirus with UV light?

April 09, 2020

The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) posted an article on the web in late March titled “Can you kill coronavirus with UV light?“. It explains the differences between UV-A, UV-B, and the UV-C that we use in our DayZero products. It includes these noteworthy sentences:

“Though there hasn’t been any research looking at how UVC affects Covid-19 specifically, studies have shown that it can be used against other coronaviruses, such as Sars. The radiation warps the structure of their genetic material and prevents the viral particles from making more copies of themselves.

As a result, a concentrated form of UVC is now on the front line in the fight against Covid-19. In China, whole buses are being lit up by the ghostly blue light each night, while squat, UVC-emitting robots have been cleaning floors in hospitals. Banks have even been using the light to disinfect their money.”

In the original article, available on the Web here, the bold-face phrases are links to the BBC’s data sources. Like the BBC, we at DayZero don’t know of any studies yet to measure just how much UV-C radiation is necessary to deactivate the SARS-CoV-2 virus which is causing the pandemic.

Speaking for myself personally and not for the company, I think it is likely that UV-C doses comparable to those used in municipal water treatment systems will significantly reduce the amount of harmful SARS-CoV-2 virus on common surfaces. Two facts lead me to my personal assessment: 1) UV-C has been shown to be effective against the original SARS virus, which is in the same Coronavirus group as SARS-CoV-2, and 2) people who should know what they’re doing are using UV-C to disinfect for SAR-CoV-2 now (NebraskaMed, UMass – see our “Coronavirus and UV-C” blog post on 3/31/20). It does concern me, however, that we don’t know for sure what UV-C dose is effective against this specific SARS-CoV-2 virus.

If you have any information about specific doses for coronaviruses, that would be helpful; give us a call or use our contact form. Or send us a blog post of your own!

–Dave Conklin 4/9/20