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Ultraviolet Radiation Technologies and Healthcare Associated Infections: Standards and Metrology Needs



Dianne L. Poster, C Cameron Miller, Richard Martinello, Norman Horn, Michael T. Postek, Troy Cowan, Yaw S. Obeng, John J. Kasianowicz


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) hosted an international workshop on ultraviolet-C (UV-C) disinfection technologies on January 14 – 15, 2020 in Gaithersburg, Maryland in collaboration with the International Ultraviolet Association (IUVA). This successful public event, as evidenced by the participation of more than 150 attendees with 65% from the ultraviolet technology industry, was part of an on-going collaborative effort between NIST and the IUVA and its affiliates to examine the measurement and standards needs for UV-C pathogen abatement in the healthcare whole-room environment. Prior to and since this event, stakeholders from industry, academia, government, and public health services have been collaboratively engaged with NIST to accelerate the development and use of accurate measurements and models for UV-C disinfection technologies and facilitate technology transfer. The workshop served as an open forum to continue this discussion with a technical focus centered on the effective design, use, and implementation of UV-C technologies for the prevention and treatment of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in complex hospital settings. These settings include patient rooms, operating rooms, common staging areas, ventilation systems, personal protective equipment, and tools for the reprocessing and disinfecting of instruments or devices used in medical procedures, such as catheters and ventilators. The critical need for UV-C technologies for disinfection has been amplified with the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes respiratory coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), with an even greater emphasis on identifying testing and performance metrology needs. This paper discusses these topics based on the workshop and community activities since, including a public webinar with more than 500 registered attendees on September 30, 2020, an international conference on UV-C Technologies for air and surface disinfection, December 8 – 9, 2020 and a webinar on returning to normalcy with the use of UV-C technologies, April 27 and 29, 2021. It also serves as an introduction to a special section of the Journal of Research of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, where full papers address the latest technical, non-commercial, UV-C technology and pathogen abatement investigations. The set of papers provide keen insights from the vantage point of medicine and industry. Recent technical developments, successes, and needs in optics and photonics, radiation physics, biological efficacy, and the needs of future markets in UV-C technologies are described to provide a concise compilation of the community's efforts and the state of the field. Standards needs are identified and discussed throughout the section. We capture a summary of these needs in this article on the essential role of standards for innovation and implementation of UV-C technology for improved patient care and public health.
Journal of Research (NIST JRES) -


ultraviolet-C radiation, UV-C, disinfection, hospitals, public health, efficacy, dose, innovation, standards, metrology, light, optics


Poster, D. , Miller, C. , Martinello, R. , Horn, N. , Postek, M. , Cowan, T. , Obeng, Y. and Kasianowicz, J. (2021), Ultraviolet Radiation Technologies and Healthcare Associated Infections: Standards and Metrology Needs, Journal of Research (NIST JRES), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online],, (Accessed April 24, 2024)
Created August 20, 2021, Updated November 29, 2022