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Safety of Upper-Room Ultraviolet Germicidal Air Disinfection for Room Occupants: Results from the Tuberculosis Ultraviolet Shelter Study

Study findings demonstrate that careful application of upperroom UVGI can be achieved without an apparent increase in the incidence of the most common side effects of accidental UV overexposure. Methods included data collection involved administering questionnaires regarding eye and skin irritation to a total of 3,611 staff and homeless study subjects. Bench-scale and room-scale experiments clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI), which consists primarily of shortwave (254 nm or UV-C) energy, for inactivating a wide range of aerosolized microorganisms. Based on these and other data, UVGI technology is widely used as a protective measure to limit the transmission of airborne pathogens. To prevent spread of infectious agents within rooms, upper room rather than UVGI within ventilation ducts is the optimal implementation mode, using wall or ceiling-mounted fixtures that direct UV-C energy above the heads of room occupants.

Edward A. Nardell, MDa
Scott J. Bucher, MAb
Philip W. Brickner, MDb
Charles Wang, BAb
Richard L. Vincent, BScb
Kathleen Becan-McBride,

EdDc
Mark A. James, PhDd
Max Michael, MDe
James D. Wright, PhDf

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