LED light shown to kill COVID-19 in a global first study

LED light shown to kill COVID-19 in a global first study
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A first of its kind study has found that UV-LED light emitting diodes are effective at killing the coronaviruses.

A team of researchers have proved that the group of coronaviruses can be killed effectively, quickly and cost efficiently by using ultraviolet (UV) light-emitting diodes (UV-LEDs).

The study carried out at Tel Aviv University (TAU) and led by led by Professor Hadas Mamane, Head of the Environmental Engineering Programme at TAU’s School of Mechanical Engineering, Iby and Aladar Fleischman Faculty of Engineering, investigated the disinfection efficiency of UV-LED irradiation at different wavelengths or frequencies on a virus from the family of coronaviruses.

The article has been published in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology.

Disinfection solutions

For the study, the team found that a length of 285 nanometers (nm) was almost as efficient in disinfecting the virus as a wavelength of 265 nm, requiring less than half a minute to destroy more than 99.9% of the coronaviruses.

Professor Mamane said: “The entire world is currently looking for effective solutions to disinfect the coronavirus. The problem is that in order to disinfect a bus, train, sports hall, or plane by chemical spraying, you need physical manpower, and in order for the spraying to be effective, you have to give the chemical time to act on the surface. Disinfection systems based on LED bulbs, however, can be installed in the ventilation system and air conditioner, for example, and sterilise the air sucked in and then emitted into the room.

“We discovered that it is quite simple to kill the coronavirus using LED bulbs that radiate ultraviolet light. We killed the viruses using cheaper and more readily available LED bulbs, which consume little energy and do not contain mercury like regular bulbs. Our research has commercial and societal implications, given the possibility of using such LED bulbs in all areas of our lives, safely and quickly.”

Eventually, as the science develops, the industry will be able to make the necessary adjustments and install the bulbs in robotic systems or air conditioning, vacuum, and water systems, and thereby be able to efficiently disinfect large surfaces and spaces.

The researchers note that it is dangerous to use this method to disinfect surfaces inside homes.


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