Interest in ultraviolet-C (UV-C) irradiation as a strategy for decontaminating surfaces in the health care environment has skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic. But with a lack of standards and regulations surrounding the technology’s implementation, consistent safety and efficacy is no guarantee. In response to the growing need for guidance, the Journal of Research of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has published a Special Section on Ultraviolet Technologies for Public Health in collaboration with the International Ultraviolet Association (IUVA) following a joint workshop on this critical topic for public health in January 2020.
The open access publications that make up the section describe new applications of UV-C technology and detail methods of characterizing how physical and biological materials respond to UV radiation — necessary information for establishing UV standards. Several of these standards are now under development as the result of industry collaborative efforts between IUVA and the Illuminating Engineering Society.
The lineup of papers in this section spans microorganism sensitivity to UV-C, decontamination of N95 respirators and other personal protective equipment, UV-C doses produced by different light sources, and several other critical topics. Additional publications will be added to this section later this year.
The data and protocols provided here represent a valuable resource for researchers in health care and the UV industry and lay critical groundwork toward standardization of UV technologies. Visit the Journal of Research of NIST to explore the special section.