We’ve been highlighting the potential risks associated with UV-C disinfection, given the proliferation of products appearing on the internet. There’s no doubting the effectiveness of UV-C in clearing pathogens, but the dangers of inappropriate exposure can’t be underestimated.
The LIA has prepared a statement on the issue.
The LIA is well-aware of the potential benefits of using UVC lighting to sterilise surfaces and indeed air in the current fight against coronavirus. The germicidal benefits in combatting bacteria and viruses is well documented and much research has been undertaken.
The LIA is also aware of a recent spate of product offerings, mostly from the Far East, which claim to offer these sterilisation products for home use. It is clear that many of these products are not medical equipment and may not serve the purpose for which they are sold and can also be dangerous to human health if not used correctly.
The LIA are currently involved in a number of activities around the supply and use of UVC lighting products, some of which are listed below:
- Through Peter Hunt’s membership of the Global Lighting Association, the LIA are directly involved in a Task Force which among other actions aims to
a) highlight the benefits of UVC lighting in the fight against viruses and bacteria through reference to scientific evidence
b) explain the need to use UVC lighting wisely and prevent collateral safety/health risks
c) provide an overview of current national and international standards and indicate which of those may be lacking with regard to safety and performance
d) given that closing any standards gap could take years and time is of the essence, give immediate guidelines for dealing with UVC lighting safely.
- The LIA hold daily calls with other lighting associations across Europe through Lighting Europe where the topic of UVC lighting is a standing item on the agenda.
- The LIA is in regular contact with the Office for Product Safety and Standards and have raised the issue of the proliferation of these products with them and asked for their support in tackling the problem. Naturally they are on a lockdown too but can carry out certain functions remotely.
- The LIA carries out its own market surveillance on a wide range of products, recently this has concentrated on emergency lighting in the wake of Grenfell and UVC germicidal products are now being ordered for inspection.
- The LIA is a member of the Lighting Liaison Group (all organisations in the UK with an interest in lighting) including LIA, SLL, ILP, IALD, HEA, BEIS, and Public Health England. The topic of UVC lighting is also being discussed in this forum.
- The LIA talk regularly with BEIS and have raised the benefits and concerns with them which feeds directly into the Government think tank on the current pandemic.
- Our own laboratory naturally tests for UV hazard and is working on testing for UVC dosage, investigating international standards and regulations and is currently compiling a rapid response to a Government call for specific projects designed to support the fight against the virus which is centred around the use of hand held UVC germicidal lighting products.