The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in New York City is using UV lamps to sanitize subway cars and buses for COVID-19 infection prevention, reported New York Daily News.
MTA announced that it will close the subway system from one to five a.m. every day since May 6, 2020 to deep clean and disinfect all the trains and buses to combat coronavirus. One of its disinfecting solution is using UV lamps to deliver UVC radiation for diminishing bacteria, viruses and other pathogens in the cars.
The disinfection project applying UV lamps was supported by MTA’s partnership with Columbia University. The UV lights will be tested on part of the subway trains and buses since May 11, 2020. The project would be expanded if researchers at Columbia University confirm the effectiveness afterward.
David Brenner, director of Columbia University’s Center for Radiological Research, noted that his research team is working on “far UVC” technology which can wipe out COVID-19 without causing harm to human body. Compared to the commonly known germicidal UV light with wavelength between 250nm to 280nm, far UVC light has shorter wavelength with the range of 205 to 230 nm and cannot reach or damage living human cells but can still kill viruses in the air or on surfaces.
Brenner said far-UVC light could be a game changer in the fight against COVID-19 as “it can be safely used in occupied public spaces, and it kills pathogens in the air before we can breathe them in.”