Many studies, from as early as 1877, have been done to prove that Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) could be useful in preventing the spread of disease. In 1903, Neils Finsen was awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine and Physiology for his research using UV radiation for the treatment of various diseases. In 1936, Hart successfully used UVGI to disinfect air in a Duke University hospital operating room by showing a reduction in surgical wound infection.
And a landmark study during the measles epidemic of 1941-1942 showed a significant reduction in infection among Philadelphia school children in classrooms where UVGI systems were installed, compared to control classrooms without UVGI.
Enthusiasm regarding UV
In the late 1950s Riley and Oâ€™Grady successfully used UVGI to eliminate viable TB bacilli from the exhaust air of a hospital ward. This famous work, along with more recent studies documenting the effectiveness of UVGI, has contributed to the enthusiasm regarding UVGI applications that we see today.
A few examples
- The U.S. General Services Administration requires that UV-C be included in cooling coil air-handling units for all new facilities and alteration projects to maintain coil cleanliness and improve air quality.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevents in the US supports the use of UVGI as an adjunct to mechanical ventilation and filtration to prevent and control the spread of tuberculosis.
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the US note that UVGI technologies can be used to provide protection against bioterrorism.