Electrical Business

COVID-19 Updates Safety News
IES report explains how Germicidal UV could help reduce spread of COVID-19

May 13, 2020  By Anthony Capkun

May 13, 2020 – The Illuminating Engineering Society has issued a report by their Photobiology Committee explaining germicidal ultraviolet (GUV) disinfection and its potential to safely reduce the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

“The goal is to provide timely and objective information on a proven technology that can reduce the spread of this highly contagious virus,” said Brian Liebel, IES director of Standards & Research.

Germicidal UV can successfully and safely be deployed to disinfect air in occupied hospital spaces such as waiting rooms, intensive care units and operating rooms, says IES. In unoccupied controlled-access environments, germicidal UV can be used as a supplemental measure to disinfect room surfaces, to reduce the spread of healthcare associated infections.

GUV is also being applied for disinfecting some PPE for limited reuse during the pandemic. The FAQs emphasize the need for GUV to be applied correctly and monitored for output and safety, and that training on the operation and maintenance of the systems over time is also important.


The IES report addresses these topics and recognizes that additional GUV technologies are in development, including efficacy and safety testing.

The committee report also cautions that UV disinfecting “wands” or other ultraviolet products for residential use—as they are inadequately proven and unregulated—may pose a safety hazard and are unlikely to provide the protection expected.

Written to help protect healthcare workers and patients, the FREE DOWNLOAD is accompanied by a tutorial video explaining GUV technology, its application, and safety considerations.

“The guidance included in this report should help medical professionals and consumers better understand germicidal UV products, and provides considerations for selecting and employing such technologies,” said Dr. David Sliney, chair of the IES Photobiology Committee.

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