A Japanese company has developed an ultraviolet radiation lamp that inactivates the new coronavirus, using a wavelength that a scientific study says is harmless to humans.
The Care 222 lamp was developed by lighting equipment manufacturer Ushio in collaboration with Columbia University in the United States, for potential use in the disinfection of spaces with high flow and high risk of contagion, such as public transport or offices.
Ultraviolet light lamps have long been used as a means of sterilization, especially in the medical and food processing industries, but conventionally used ultraviolet rays cause skin cancer and eye problems, so they cannot be used in spaces with people.
The new lamp emits ultraviolet rays with a wavelength of 222 nanometers, instead of conventional 254, which makes it benign for human beings, says the Japanese company on its website.
According to Ushio, at that wavelength, ultraviolet rays cannot penetrate the surface of the skin or the eyes to cause genetic damage that causes cancer and other diseases.
A study by Hiroshima University published this month in the American Journal of Infection Control confirmed that the type of ultraviolet rays used in the new lamp are effective against the coronavirus.
According to Ushio, when it emits light from the ceiling, the Care 222 lamp inactivates 99% of viruses and bacteria in the air and on surfaces up to three square meters within a radius of 2.5 meters.
Currently, the company only accepts orders from medical institutions, but plans to expand production and extend it to other sectors, according to information published today by Kyodo news agency.
The covid-19 pandemic has already claimed at least 961,531 deaths and more than 31.1 million cases of infection in 196 countries and territories, according to a report by the France-Presse news agency (AFP).
The disease is transmitted by a new coronavirus detected in late December in Wuhan, a city in central China.
After Europe succeeded China as the center of the pandemic in February, the American continent is now the one with the most confirmed cases and the most deaths.