Extreme Exposure to Filtered Far-UVC: A Case Study

Ewan Eadie (Lead / Corresponding author), Isla M. R. Barnard, Sally H. Ibbotson, Kenneth Wood

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Far-UVC devices are being commercially sold as “safe for humans” for the inactivation of SARS-CoV-2, without supporting human safety data. We felt there was a need for rapid proof-of-concept human self-exposure, to inform future controlled research and promote informed discussion. A Fitzpatrick Skin Type II individual exposed their inner forearms to large radiant exposures from a filtered Krypton-Chloride (KrCl) far-UVC system (SafeZoneUVC, Ushio Inc., Tokyo, Japan) with peak emission at 222 nm. No visible skin changes were observed at 1500 mJ cm −2; whereas, skin yellowing that appeared immediately and resolved within 24 h occurred with a 6000 mJ cm −2 exposure. No erythema was observed at any time point with exposures up to 18 000 mJ cm −2. These results combined with Monte Carlo Radiative Transfer computer modeling suggest that filtering longer ultraviolet wavelengths is critical for the human skin safety of far-UVC devices. This work also contributes to growing arguments for the exploration of exposure limit expansion, which would subsequently enable faster inactivation of viruses.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
JournalPhotochemistry and Photobiology
Early online date20 Jan 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Jan 2021

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