Frequently Asked Questions (UVC)

With Dr. Steel

About Dr. Steel

Dr. Doug Steel has recently joined Planled as Director of Medical Science. Doug received his Ph.D. in Medical Sciences from Columbia University and spent many years in the academic environment conducting basic biomedical research as well as years in the Pharmaceutical industry.

Working with Planled, Doug brings the abilities to integrate his scientific knowledge and address some of the most pressing health concerns of our times in most safe, affordable, and effective ways.

About Dr. Steel

Dr. Doug Steel has recently joined Planled as Director of Medical Science. Doug received his Ph.D. in Medical Sciences from Columbia University and spent many years in the academic environment conducting basic biomedical research as well as years in the Pharmaceutical industry.

Working with Planled, Doug brings the abilities to integrate his scientific knowledge and address some of the most pressing health concerns of our times in most safe, affordable, and effective ways.

What is UVC light?

Electromagnetic energy comes from the sun or is produced artificially and can be separated into different categories based on the frequency or wavelength of that energy. We are most familiar with the visible part of the spectrum, which gives us different colors of light. There are other kinds of higher energy that are not visible to the eye, and one of these is Ultraviolet or UV light. Ultraviolet-C light (called UVC) is a short wavelength subset of UV, with a wavelength range of 200-280 nm.

Why is UVC light called germicidal?

Light in the UVC range is able to kill microbes (bacteria, protozoa, molds, fungi, and viruses) because the energy in the form of radiation can enter these organisms and interfere with their ability to make copies of themselves by attacking their DNA or RNA. When used in this way it is referred to as GUVC – or Germicidal Ultraviolet C light. GUVC is safe (when properly used), and very effective at killing microbes in seconds.

Can GUVC kill SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19?

Yes, multiple studies have shown that GUVC can inactivate the virus regardless of whether it is in the air or on surfaces. However, it must be administered at the right intensity, and for the proper length of time. Planled UVCUE products have been designed and developed to reliably provide safe and effective GUVC that is verified as part of the installation and commissioning process.

Is GUVC dangerous to people?

Precautions must be taken in order to use GUVC safely. Direct exposure to the skin and eyes must be avoided to prevent short-term damage, and government regulations require that products have safeguards to ensure that accidental exposure cannot occur. GUVC-producing fixtures must either be used in unoccupied spaces, or shielded in ways that avoid inadvertent exposure. UVCUE products come with usage protocols and comply with all governmental standards and guidelines, assuring safe usage.

What is upper room air GUVC?

In spaces that have a ceiling height greater than 7 feet, GUVC-producing units can be positioned along the walls of that space at a height of 7 feet to constantly disinfect the air in the upper regions of that space by killing all bacteria and viruses. The UVC emitted by the fixtures is angled upwards so that it never comes in contact with people.

How does upper room air GUVC compare to other methods of treatment, such as by increasing the airflow of outside air through a space?

GUVC disinfection of upper room air is much more efficient and effective at killing microbes than increasing air flow. In fact, air flow would have to be increased between 8 and 20-fold to be as effective as GUVC. The energy costs of doing so would be prohibitive. In addition, increasing air flow simply dilutes virus particles but doesn’t kill them; the result is that if new virus particles are entering the space such as through prolonged exhalation or new people entering that space, it will persist in being an infectious environment.

How does COVID-19 spread?

The consensus of scientific and medical data is that SARS-CoV-2 spreads through the air in the form of respiratory droplets expelled by coughing, sneezing, talking, or singing. These droplets tend to travel fairly short distances and settle on surfaces where they can be spread by touch. In addition, small-particle aerosols can be exhaled through the normal breathing of infected people. These circulate through the air in a room are after they are exhaled by infected persons, and can linger in the air for hours until they are inhaled by healthy people – leading to dangerous spread.

How then does upper room air GUVC address the problem of airborne spread of Coronavirus aerosols?

The continuous operation of GUVC units at a wall height of 7 ft or more creates a “kill zone” of UVC light that extends horizontally through the upper room air layers. As SARS-CoV-2 is exhaled by people in aerosol form, it enters the air in the room and starts to move following a flow pattern. Natural or fan-assisted circulation of room air draws virus aerosols through the Kill Zone, where virus particles are inactivated as they recirculate in that space. This has the effect of disinfecting almost the entire airspace in infected rooms, making them significantly for occupancy.

How do we know this approach works?

Upper room air GUVC has a long history of successful use in greatly reducing the spread of diseases during previous epidemics and pandemics. In the 1940’s it was successfully used to reduce the spread of measles in classrooms along the East Coast of the US. In more recent decades it has been used to kill influenza and tuberculosis in countries around the globe. The current pandemic is driving the development of improvements in the technology that make UVCUE products safer and more cost-effective than ever before.

Is GUVC a substitute for mask-wearing, wiping surfaces with liquid disinfectant, or other preventive measures?

Absolutely not! The safest strategy for protecting people and environments from the risks posed by COVID-19 virus infection is to utilize a multi-modal approach combining preventive measures that reduce the risk of infection with a number of different surface and air treatments. Collectively, such an approach will eliminate most of the major paths by which infection might occur.

What is UVC light?

Electromagnetic energy comes from the sun or is produced artificially and can be separated into different categories based on the frequency or wavelength of that energy. We are most familiar with the visible part of the spectrum, which gives us different colors of light. There are other kinds of higher energy that are not visible to the eye, and one of these is Ultraviolet or UV light. Ultraviolet-C light (called UVC) is a short wavelength subset of UV, with a wavelength range of 200-280 nm.

Why is UVC light called germicidal?

Light in the UVC range is able to kill microbes (bacteria, protozoa, molds, fungi, and viruses) because the energy in the form of radiation can enter these organisms and interfere with their ability to make copies of themselves by attacking their DNA or RNA. When used in this way it is referred to as GUVC – or Germicidal Ultraviolet C light. GUVC is safe (when properly used), and very effective at killing microbes in seconds.

Can GUVC kill SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19?

Yes, multiple studies have shown that GUVC can inactivate the virus regardless of whether it is in the air or on surfaces. However, it must be administered at the right intensity, and for the proper length of time. Planled UVCUE products have been designed and developed to reliably provide safe and effective GUVC that is verified as part of the installation and commissioning process.

Is GUVC dangerous to people?

Precautions must be taken in order to use GUVC safely. Direct exposure to the skin and eyes must be avoided to prevent short-term damage, and government regulations require that products have safeguards to ensure that accidental exposure cannot occur. GUVC-producing fixtures must either be used in unoccupied spaces, or shielded in ways that avoid inadvertent exposure. UVCUE products come with usage protocols and comply with all governmental standards and guidelines, assuring safe usage.

What is upper room air GUVC?

In spaces that have a ceiling height greater than 7 feet, GUVC-producing units can be positioned along the walls of that space at a height of 7 feet to constantly disinfect the air in the upper regions of that space by killing all bacteria and viruses. The UVC emitted by the fixtures is angled upwards so that it never comes in contact with people.

How does upper room air GUVC compare to other methods of treatment, such as by increasing the airflow of outside air through a space?

GUVC disinfection of upper room air is much more efficient and effective at killing microbes than increasing air flow. In fact, air flow would have to be increased between 8 and 20-fold to be as effective as GUVC. The energy costs of doing so would be prohibitive. In addition, increasing air flow simply dilutes virus particles but doesn’t kill them; the result is that if new virus particles are entering the space such as through prolonged exhalation or new people entering that space, it will persist in being an infectious environment.

How does COVID-19 spread?

The consensus of scientific and medical data is that SARS-CoV-2 spreads through the air in the form of respiratory droplets expelled by coughing, sneezing, talking, or singing. These droplets tend to travel fairly short distances and settle on surfaces where they can be spread by touch. In addition, small-particle aerosols can be exhaled through the normal breathing of infected people. These circulate through the air in a room are after they are exhaled by infected persons, and can linger in the air for hours until they are inhaled by healthy people – leading to dangerous spread.

How then does upper room air GUVC address the problem of airborne spread of Coronavirus aerosols?

The continuous operation of GUVC units at a wall height of 7 ft or more creates a “kill zone” of UVC light that extends horizontally through the upper room air layers. As SARS-CoV-2 is exhaled by people in aerosol form, it enters the air in the room and starts to move following a flow pattern. Natural or fan-assisted circulation of room air draws virus aerosols through the Kill Zone, where virus particles are inactivated as they recirculate in that space. This has the effect of disinfecting almost the entire airspace in infected rooms, making them significantly for occupancy.

How do we know this approach works?

Upper room air GUVC has a long history of successful use in greatly reducing the spread of diseases during previous epidemics and pandemics. In the 1940’s it was successfully used to reduce the spread of measles in classrooms along the East Coast of the US. In more recent decades it has been used to kill influenza and tuberculosis in countries around the globe. The current pandemic is driving the development of improvements in the technology that make UVCUE products safer and more cost-effective than ever before.

Is GUVC a substitute for mask-wearing, wiping surfaces with liquid disinfectant, or other preventive measures?

Absolutely not! The safest strategy for protecting people and environments from the risks posed by COVID-19 virus infection is to utilize a multi-modal approach combining preventive measures that reduce the risk of infection with a number of different surface and air treatments. Collectively, such an approach will eliminate most of the major paths by which infection might occur.