For over 100 years, scientists have known ultraviolet (UV) light is very effective at killing pathogens. While 254-nm UV is widely used to clean our water and operating rooms, its broader use has only been inhibited by the potential for overexposure, leading to health risks to the skin and eyes.
Recent studies conducted by Columbia University and others have shown that far UV light wavelengths between 200 and 230 nm cannot penetrate human and animal tissue while effectively killing bacteria and viruses, including SARS-CoV-2.
The 222-nm far UV systems have been developed that can either be used at high intensity (disinfection <1 s) or provided at lower intensity to provide continuous disinfection of occupied spaces throughout a full day. These systems are currently being installed at DoD ground facilities for disinfection. Additional work is ongoing to qualify 222-nm systems for rapid disinfection of military aircraft cockpits and other military vehicle spaces.