CIE Position Statement on the use of UV-C

As interest in using light disinfection continues to grow standard setting organizations and manufacturers are becoming more active in this area.  The International Commission on Illumination (CIE) has just released a position statement on the use of ultraviolet radiation to manage the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Here are a few bullet points:

  • While ultraviolet light ranges from 400 nm to 100 nm, the most effective wavelengths are at around 254 nm and this is generally what is meant by germicidal ultraviolet or GUV.
  • UV-C has been successfully used for water disinfection and in air handling units for many years.  UV-C has also seen a resurgence for use in healthcare environments.
  • Direct exposure to UV-C can cause photokeratitis (similar to snow blindness) and erythema (skin reddening similar to sunburn) so carefully shielded luminaires are required when used in occupied spaces.
  • Consumers should be wary of products not approved by consumer safety organizations.  Such products could be hazardous to use or may not emit UV-C at all.

Read the full position statement.