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  • Writer's pictureAndrew J Bannister

We can kill the virus in our air conditioning systems

It has be known for a long time that certain wavelengths within the ultra violet light band widths will kill viruses as well as other harmful bacteria and mould spawn, and yet I am not seeing this information being shared with the public, and more importantly, the air conditioning manufacturers.

I borrowed the following quote from "Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory" website:

Ultraviolet (UV) germicidal lights produce short wavelength light (or radiation) that can damage the genetic material in the nucleus of cells of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and molds. The cells may be killed or made unable to reproduce. With extended exposure, UV germicidal irradiation (UVGI) can also break down the particles that have deposited on an irradiated surface. Plastics, human skin, and eyes can also be damaged by UV light.

Because we now live in a changed world, and where our daily lives are in my opinion going to change in some way or another, forever, we need as many assurances that our health is being protected as possible, and so anything that can kill off these microscopic bugs, viruses and bacteria is in my opinion, a good thing for us.

But before we all go rushing out to purchase UV lights, beware, because it needs to be set up correctly and radiate the correct band widths of UV light, but also, and this is very important, it is HARMFUL to us if we let it shine onto us.... Certain wave lengths of UV light can cause cancer and eye cataracts... BUT, if we contain the light within light enclosures inside our air conditioning and air purifiers, and where none of the light will be able to fall onto us, then we can help to protect the air we breath from the viruses, bacteria and moulds that are each and all, harmful to our wellbeing.

Using Ultra Violet Light within our air systems is not the complete answer and never will be, but just as washing hands has proved so vital to protecting our health, and which in itself is not the complete answer, so too will be anything added that helps to protect us and the introduction of correctly supplied and installed UV in our air handling systems is surely a good thing to do.

This is nothing new, it has been known of for decades, so we are not pioneering something untested, we would be simply introducing a known virus killer into our every day lives.

I have been asked to head up the design for a specialist healthcare facility, and so I have been investigating the use of UV light for some time and although I do not profess to be an expert in anyway whatsoever, the evidence that this will work is overwhelming.

But before we all go out and commission the Hvac companies to come and install systems in our work places and homes, I ask that the authorities and scientists please set the rules for this virus killing system so as to avoid the wrong people taking advantage of us, by offering false claims to systems that should be regulated in some way or another.

I am sure that airlines must already be using this or investigating it, public buildings, private offices, homes, apartments, in fact anywhere where there are air handling systems, such as air conditioning and air filtration, should have a UV system attached and most likely in multiple destinations within the systems... to kill as many unwanted bacteria and viruses as possible.

Certainly, I am introducing this advice to all my clients and especially those who have spaces where people will be working or residing... We are soon to start an office project, and where there are multiple small offices as well as open spaces for meetings etc... The air we breath can be cleaned using the existing Hvac system but by adding ( as soon as I find the right company ) UV and also improved air filtration.. ( Hepa of other air filters do NOT catch viruses as the spaces within the filters that are supposed to catch viruses are too big.. and if you make the filters more dense to catch the virus, the airflow will be hampered and ineffective .. a virus is simply too small to be effectively caught ). Just the assurance that the room, offices, building.. is doing everything possible to help to kill off possible viruses in the air, but equally and also, bacteria and mould, is surely the future without any doubt whatsoever.

If you are a specialist company that already does this, if you are a scientist that can help to develop this, if you are a government department that can correctly investigate this, then please let me know and advise me as to how I, as an architect, can help all my clients and others to better protect themselves from this pandemic and future issues that are bound to come our way.

I do not profess to have all the answers, and using UV to clean the air that we breath is NOT the only answer, because we still need to wash our hands and do whatever else the scientists and medical professionals advise us to do, but I do question why we are not hearing more about a proven killer of viruses...that we can introduce into our daily lives, so please... bring it on. I am here to learn and be professionally advised for the better of all my clients and everyone in general...because as an architect, it is my duty to make the lives of my clients better.

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