A direct approach to limit airborne viral transmissions is to inactivate them within a short time of their production. Germicidal ultraviolet light, typically at 254 nm, is effective in this context but, used directly, can be a health hazard to skin and eyes . By contrast, 222 nm efficiently kills pathogens potentially without harm to exposed human tissues. This is due to the fact that light in the 200-222 nm range can only transverse small organisms such as bacteria or viruses and is not able to affect larger biological samples like mammalian cells. This enables our 222nm Plasma Guard lamps to be used in occupied public settings to prevent the airborne person-to-person transmission of pathogens such as coronaviruses.
Our innovative 222nm Plasma Guard lamp uses “microplasma” technology, a new radiation source capable of generating 222 nm wavelength in a slim and flat form. Our patented, flat-panel technologies have been shown to inactivate up to 90% of potentially harmful bacteria and viruses in the air and on surface areas. As importantly, the science shows that our lamps – operating in the 222nm spectrum – can be effective in that role while remaining safe for people occupying the space. As a leader in the market for commercialization of Far UV-C solutions, we are proud to say we are taking a responsible approach to understand and fully meeting all of our compliance obligations.
Studies have shown that a very small dose (2 mJ/cm2) of 222 nm was highly efficient in inactivating aerosolized H1N1 influenza virus. Recent scientific studies have demonstrated the efficacy of 222 nm light against two airborne human coronaviruses: alpha HCoV-229E and beta HCoV-OC43. Both were isolated over 50 years ago and are endemic to the human population, causing 15–30% of respiratory tract infections each year.
The results together with previous safety studies suggest the utility of continuous low-dose-rate 222 nm light in occupied indoor public locations such as hospitals, transportation vehicles, restaurants, airports and schools, potentially representing a safe and inexpensive tool to reduce the spread of airborne-mediated viruses. While staying within the current regulatory dose limits, low-dose-rate of our 222nm Plasma Guard exposure can potentially safely provide a major reduction in the ambient level of airborne coronaviruses including SARS-CoV-2.