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Japanese Develop Anti-Covid Lamp

According to a Japanese news agency, a Japanese company, Kyodo, has developed an ultraviolet radiation lamp that inactivates the new coronavirus using wavelengths that are known to be harmless to humans.

The Care 222 lamp was developed by a lighting equipment manufacturer, Ushio, in collaboration with Columbia University in the United States for potential use in areas where there are high numbers of people creating an increased risk of contagion, such as on public transport and in offices.

Although ultraviolet light lamps have long been used as a means of sterilisation, especially in the medical and food processing industries, conventional ultraviolet rays can cause skin cancer and eye problems, and therefore cannot be used in public spaces. However, the new lamp emits ultraviolet rays using a wavelength of 222 nanometres, instead of the conventional 254, which makes them safe around humans. At this wavelength the ultraviolet rays cannot penetrate the surface of the skin or eyes, and cannot cause genetic damage which can lead to cancer and and other diseases.

A study by Hiroshima University, published this month in the American Journal of Infection Control, confirmed that the type of ultraviolet rays used in the new lamp is effective against the coronavirus.

According to Ushio, when emitting light from the ceiling, the Care 222 lamp inactivates 99% of viruses and bacteria in the air and on surfaces up to a radius of 2.5 meters.

Currently, the company only accepts orders from medical institutions, but plans to expand production to meet anticipated demand from other sectors.

Samantha Gannon

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