Due to its high efficacy rate, ability to disinfect both surfaces and air without harmful chemical exposure, and minimal application time and effort, UV-C disinfection is quickly becoming the new frontier in the ongoing battle to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Schools, hotels, restaurants, sports teams, senior living facilities, and commercial real estate firms are implementing UV-C, a proven technology that has been trusted by hospitals for decades, to strengthen disinfection protocols and make their environments safer. While awareness around UV-C as a powerful germicidal agent is increasing, many are still hearing about it for the first time and typically ask: Is UV-C Safe? This article provides answers while giving an overview of essential safeguards your UV-C system should include.
Is UV-C safe to use around people?
From facility directors to heads of operations, leaders tasked with evaluating UV-C systems want to know if UV-C is safe to use around people. UV-C is a powerful germicidal agent and can be harmful to human skin and eyes if operators are exposed to high doses of UV-C. Prolonged exposure can cause skin irritation, like a mild sunburn or in some cases acute retinal damage. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) publishes permissible exposure limits for UV-C light and it is clear that UV-C systems can only be used in unoccupied spaces.
While operators should only run a UV-C cycle in an unoccupied space, it is safe for people to immediately re-enter that space following a disinfection cycle. When evaluating UV-C disinfection products, check for systems that include built-in safety mechanisms to minimize risk of UV-C exposure.
Is UV-C safe to use in rooms with glass windows?
Yes. UV-C cannot penetrate glass, so you can run a disinfection cycle in rooms with windows without harming anyone or anything on the other side of the windows.
Is UV-C safe to use around food?
Yes. UV-C disinfects without the use of harmful chemicals or pesticides – so is safe to use around food, including kitchen and restaurant environments. Learn how restaurants are using UV-C disinfection.
In addition to understanding the safety essentials about UV-C technology, the influx of UV-C products with different levels of safeguards makes it critical to select a UV-C system with advanced safety features.
Meet Arc: a new level of holistic safety
Arc is the first hospital-grade UV-C disinfection system designed for the dynamic environments of modern organizations. Proven to destroy 99.99% of surface and airborne pathogens in a 1,000 ft2 room in just seven minutes, Arc is the most powerful, human-centric and adaptable UV-C system on the market.
Safety was a key consideration across the design process. As such, Arc has redundant safety mechanisms built-in to minimize risk and ensure virtually zero exposure. Safety features include:
- A 30-second pre-cycle countdown allows operators to leave the room safely before a cycle begins.
- A pulsing light halo at the top of the device provides a visual warning that a cycle is about to begin.
- Four long-range PIR sensors with 360° of visibility automatically shut Arc down to prevent exposure if a person enters a room during a cycle.
In addition to the product’s built-in safety features, every unit includes bilingual warning signs for operators to post at all entrances of a room – providing an additional layer of caution for teams. As part of our holistic approach to safety, R-Zero also conducts hands-on training to ensure teams operate Arc safely and effectively.
At R-Zero, we’re committed to making the best hospital-grade disinfection technologies accessible to all organizations, and sharing information to help evolve your infection prevention strategies. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More posts you might like
From Idea to Series B in 14 Months: R-Zero’s Journey to Date, and Becoming Biosafety Technology Pioneers
By Grant Morgan, CEO and Co-Founder R-Zero is a company with an ambitious vision: to create a world without sick days. Today, while a global pandemic continues to claim lives and devastate economies, that vision seems particularly far fetched. But we see a hopeful future – one even better than what we knew before – and […]
By Ben Boyer, Executive Chairman and Co-Founder, R-Zero Since co-founding Tenaya Capital in 2009, I’ve had the opportunity to invest in startups like Qunar, Eventbrite, and Lyft — companies that have transformed entire sectors and with them, our daily lives. But as I entered my 40s and began to think more about my impact on […]
Before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, San Francisco was arguably the coworking capital of the U.S. In 2018, the city had more coworking spaces per capita than any other major city in the country. In San Francisco’s ecosystem of tech startups, entrepreneurs and creatives, coworking spaces have in recent years served as a preferred […]