PHOENIX, April 30, 2020 — Phoenix-based energy solutions technology company, U.S. Energy Recovery, is pleased to announce it will be hosting a webinar on the germicidal benefits of Ultra Violet light sources.
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Watch the recording here
Host: Thank you all, first of all, as we get started here, for taking the time to join us today.
I know this is something that has come with great interest in the community and in part of just discussions we’ve had with various customers and why we put this together. So we’re excited to have you here today and excited with the response that we received, the number of individuals that wanted us to get started.
As we jump in here I want to cover off a few housekeeping items before we move forward. We want this to be an interactive presentation and so we have enabled the Q&A feature on Zoom. I’d also like to welcome all those that are streaming live on our YouTube channel.
So we have two ways for you to ask your questions during the presentation and we’ve left time at the end to be able to address those. First of all if you’re on Zoom, you’ll see a Q&A button on your Zoom window and you can click on that Q&A button and submit questions and those will come through to us and then we’ll do our best to address all of those at the end of the presentation.
If you’re on YouTube Live feel free to leave it as a comment, down below, and we will be checking the comments section and responding live to those as well as they come in.
We’ve done our best here to take a lot of information in the industry related to UV light and related to your facilities and condense that down and honor the time slot that we committed to of 45 minutes. We’ve done so successfully and we’ve left some time in there even in that 45 minutes for questions and then Vanessa and myself are available to stick on the line if we won’t even take some more questions after that for those of you that are available. So let’s get started here.
Host: The topic at hand today is, “Can UV light protect your facility against viruses?” Obviously we’re going to be talking about COVID-19, how it’s real disease and mold and bacteria, and adding to that.
With that being said, I want to first introduce myself, my name is Carl Kasalek, and joining me today is Vanessa Peng. Vanessa Peng is responsible here for the research that really we’ve doven into and she’ll go through a lot of the technical and scientific nature of it, but she’s the one that have to give a ton of credit to you for putting together all of the data sources available here and finding the myths versus the facts and in compiling this into that presentation So shortly here I will hand off the presentation to her and we will go forward from there.
Presenter: Hello everyone, thanks for joining.
Host: So let’s start off with just a basic question here: What are germicidal and UV lights and how does that relate to what we’re talking about in our discussion?
First of all, we have benefits that we’re looking for out of it, but we don’t necessarily know what’s the thinking initially. The consumer is going, well UV lights, yeah I’ve heard about those popular are these wands, and take a sanitizing wand with Amazon, right?
Amazon’s all-knowing for, it’s like it comes with a pair of, I’m presuming, protective shades and then we have some of these wands here as well for disinfecting. So what is using the right wavelength, how is it going to whisk, assuming that it works? The consumer, frankly, doesn’t know this online, but the good news is that we’re not going to be talking about the consumer space at all.
What’s the primary problem we’re hearing a lot from many of our customers today? And really that there’s a lot of fear of, you know as an executive, access for reintroducing the workforce, what does that look like?
As an employee, is it too early? Is this COVID-19 thing really done? Is there going to be protection to keep me six feet from people and now all of sudden I’m gonna be neck to neck with somebody in a cubicle. We wash our hands, right? We travel every day with some sort of [inaudible]. There’s viruses intermixed in there and so naturally there’s an introduction to it and because of how quickly it appears to spread and what’s happened on COVID-19.
Now, one primary COVID-19 impacts how we reintroduce the workforce. That’s very valid, personally though, I think what maybe has happened to some of our immune systems in the time that we’ve gone through a self-quarantine process because we’ve gone through self-quarantine, we’ve gone through social distancing, the challenge there is the human body is built on constantly adding to its immune system by exposure to others. When we’re shaking hands, we’re transferring again, bacteria that could be good or bad, and how that comes into the mix and so a fear that I have is have we really drawn back our immune systems where they’re actually at one of the weakest points that we’ve ever seen? Now we’re reintroducing that into the workplace and going to really raise costs of maintaining that personnel in the workplace.
So I want to share a few figures here to really bring it to home on the cost side of things. This is from the CDC…that the average employee, in the United States, there is a loss of $1,685 every year by companies due to absenteeism related to illness and work injuries. And this data by the way is all pre-COVID-19.
So let’s take a look at the average office workspace. The average office workspace today his shrunken immensely, especially over the last 20 to 30 years, of how many square feet are dedicated per employee. Each organization obviously is different, but the average across the U.S. right now is 151 square feet per employee in a building. And so if we factor those costs in on how many employees you might have in a space, we’re talking potentially $11.16 per square foot, annually, that you’re spending on losses related to employees being out of work. And so that really adds up and if we compare that cost just as a comparison to energy cost, which is one we like to look at constantly in our business, the average office space in the
The United States is spending a $1.34 per square foot annually on electricity costs. Again, I just want to emphasize, these numbers are pre anything we’re talking about with COVID-19 and where we stand in this pandemic today and so fully expect that these numbers, especially this year for businesses, but potentially for the short term are going to be substantially higher. And so, with that, I want to turn it over to Vanessa and let her share some of the research that we’ve come up with and technologies that exist that we really think might be great, affordable solutions for you to consider in many of your facilities that you have today.
Presenter: Thank You, Carl. So I’m just gonna start off with a history here, a quick history lesson. Germicidal light, more specifically UVC has been used for about six decades, for its proven ability to attack viruses, germs, bacteria, fungus, and mold on surfaces and also in the air. So as you see in this picture, health care facilities and also medical laboratories were the first major industries to adopt germicidal UV technology to disinfect sterile environments and to prevent hospital-acquired infections, which are a major concern for hospitals.
Now, the first germicidal lights were fluorescent and now with the expansion of LEDs, are found mostly in LED type housings, which are more effective anyway. As the popularity of the technology has grown due to its effectiveness it’s gained traction in other industries, including water treatment facilities and continues to grow, but chances are the facilities you guys all work in don’t have this technology yet or maybe you’re looking to expand on yours and due to recent events are now interested and that’s why you’re on this webinar. I, of course, don’t know everyone’s level of expertise on this topic and we don’t want to go too much into the weeds here, of course, so I’ll be focused much more on the applications of the technology rather than on the science, but I will touch on it. So if you want to go further into the science after this webinar – we have done a lot of research and would love to share it with you – so contact us afterwards. And if you have any questions, again, during this webinar, as Carl mentioned, please feel free to shoot us a question.
Now we’ll go over two categories of germicidal light today, that’s UVC or germicidal UV light, also known as GUV, and then 405 nanometer, which is non-UV light and then touch on an emerging lighting technology that is also gaining some traction.
So first off, let’s go over the UV light wavelengths. In this chart here, you see there’s the visible spectrum of light, which you are all familiar with, the rainbow, and then as we move more into the violet light we get into a spectrum known as ultraviolet light or UV light and that’s where light is not visible to the naked eye. So there are four wavelengths of light in the UV spectrum, including vacuum UV, shortwave UV or UVC, middle wave UV or UVB, and then long wave UV or UVA.
UVA is something you may have all encountered…that’s black light. UVA wavelengths are in the 315 to 400 nanometer range and UVA is found in sunlight and is associated with skin aging so extended periods of exposure is harmful to humans so try to avoid backlight when you’re in your Halloween games or playing glow-in-the-dark golf, as you see in this picture here.
Then, there is UVB, which you can visualize on your skin, as this poor lady here, when you get a sunburn. So UVB wavelengths are in the 280 to 315 nanometer range and extended exposure to both these wavelengths and UVA, as I mentioned, have been found to increase our risk of skin cancer so we try to avoid those.
And now, where we are going to spend the most time today, is with UVC light. The wavelengths here are in the 200 to 280 nanometer range and the most effective wavelength though is around 260 nanometers so most of the UVC products produce that wavelength. UVC has been proven to be the least harmful to humans, but the most effective when it comes to germicidal properties of the three wavelengths.
And then we’re talking efficacy here, UVC has been proven through multiple lab tests and studies, in the next slide, to eradicate Tuberculosis, Influenza, SARS, measles, and Adenovirus. And when it comes to bioterror aerosol, so that’s bacteria in the air, it has been found to kill Smallpox, Anthrax, Glanders, the Pneumonic Plague, among other infections.
So how does it work? UVC light attacks the RNA and DNA of viruses, which stops them from replicating, as you can see. Viruses need to replicate the grow. So viruses are genetic material wrapped inside of a protein, so they need another cell structure in order to reproduce, so that’s why attacking their RNA and DNA effectively kills them because they can’t move on. It’s one thing for me to show you this, but I would actually like to back it up with some research that has been done on UVC light.
Now some of the best research that we’ve found has been done by LG, as you can see here. They make a lot of LED chips and since the focus here, on our presentation, is on the LED applications, rather than the older fluorescent applications, we’ll turn our attention to that.
So in this test you see here the UV lamp, which is the fluorescent lamp, and then there is the UV LED lamp, on the right. You can see what a difference the UV LED light makes on killing mold. Fluorescent lights are just not good for this application because they generate a lot of excess heat so that leads to shrinkage as you can see with that tomato there. Well, now I can imagine you’re not on this webinar to learn how you can keep your fruit basket around longer so let’s get into some of the properties for reducing bacteria in your facility.
These are lab UVC detection tests. The one on the left was done on a surface with a 60 second exposure of a two milliwatt concentration of UVC light. The one on the right was in 10 milliliters of water with a 20 second exposure of a 10 milliwatt concentration of UVC light. So three different bacteria were tested here, E.coli, Salmonella Typhimurium, or what is known as Typhoid fever, and the last thing there is Listeria, so you know that as a foodborne pathogen. On the left, we see colony forming units per milliliter, that’s how bacteria is measured and then, along the bottom, the time it took to kill off the bacteria. So with the surface it took about 180 seconds to eradicate everything in the petri dish and with water it took about 10 seconds, excuse me,100 seconds, so a little bit less time.
Here’s another study that shows how quickly UVC can kill bacteria. Now, here we’re talking about a larger intensity,100 milliwatts of UVC LED and then just in 3.4 seconds everything was killed off. Now, it’s important to note that this is a lab environment that we’re talking about so a UVC LED light was placed over a petri dish, essentially. The big issue here, again, is intensity. This is one of the biggest misconceptions around UVC light right now, people don’t understand the intensity and exposure time needed for the application they want to use UVC for, whether you are shopping for wand on Amazon as Carl showed us at the beginning or on a much bigger scale something for your facilities it has to be planned out depending on your space size on what you are trying to accomplish in that particular space.
Getting back to the color spectrum here, let’s go over the other germicidal light we are going to cover today, 405 nanometer non-UV light, which is just past UV light into visible light so it has a longer wavelength outside of the UV range so it is safe for human exposure.
This is how 405 nanometers light’s germicidal properties work. 405 nanometer lights excite toxic molecules called reactive oxygen species, or ROS. So ROS is a type of unstable molecule that contains oxygen and easily reacts with other molecules in a cell. In this illustration you see those little black dots or blue dots there, a buildup of ROS in cells produces an effect that is similar to those that occur when you use bleach on something. The bacteria is inactivate, preventing it from repopulating the surface it’s on and also from traveling to further surfaces or hosts. Now, ROS are specific to bacteria so they’re not found in humans animals or plants and that’s, again, why this wavelength is so safe for humans. And because 405 nanometer light is safe for humans, it’s naturally not going to be as intense than UVC and it just works in a much slower molecular process.
Here you see STAPH and E.Coli and how under lab conditions it takes 16 hours to kill those germs. You might have noticed earlier when I mentioned UVC I said 100 milliwatts are 3.4 seconds. The intensity is much lower here with 405 and it will take a longer cycle to kill off the bacteria.
Another set here put together by Vital Vio, who is producing 405 nanometer products, it shows the microbial surface contamination before and after installation of 405 nanometer lights in an active trauma room, so a lot of action, lights are on 24/7, you can’t turn them off. Around 110 days, you see along the bottom they’re between 100 and 120, the colony counts are essentially zero.
Both UVC and 405 nanometer have germicidal properties and can kill bacteria, we’ve showed you that, but how do they differ? This chart shows us the major difference between them. 405 nanometer provides a continuous disinfection, so that more purple bar over there, while the dotted orange, which would be UVC, is episodic. UVC completely kills viruses whenever you run the device, and then when the bacteria goes up again you bring back the device and kill them all off again. But, if you’re looking at your facility for a slower, more continuous disinfection that you can also run around humans safely, then you would go with the 405 nanometer light.
Now the elephant in the room, what made you guys all probably join us today, can these germicidal lights kill COVID-19? Yes, according to the Illuminating Engineering Society, the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is responsible for the Coronavirus, can be inactivated by UVC at the effective dose level. Important to note here, dose is an important word. So, again, intensity and dose are important to note because if you don’t know what you need at your facility, it might not work.
When it comes to 405 nanometer light, currently there are pilot studies underway to see if that light can kill COVID-19, but there are no conclusive results yet. So that doesn’t mean it can’t kill the virus, there just aren’t enough tests to prove that yet.
So going further into the differences between UVC and 405 nanometer light…UVC has proven research behind it, as we’ve shown you, with decades of use for disinfecting drinking water and wastewater, air, pharmaceutical products, and in hospitals. But, 405 nanometer light is relatively new technology and has mostly just been used in hospitals, but is growing in other applications especially during this time that we’re experiencing.
When it comes to safety, UVC is not safe to run around humans and I’m going keep mentioning that because that is a huge concern. UVC is almost entirely absorbed by the outer layer of skin and dead skin cells so that’s not the hugest concern. What the concern is, is your eye because your eye doesn’t have that protective coating like your skin does so that kind of light can damage your eye cornea and that’s not something you would want around your facilities given the dangers if people were to look up when the lights are running. But, 405 nanometer light, no problem, does not pose a risk to humans and these lights are safe to run with humans.
UVC light significantly degrades the quality of many different types of materials, such as plastics, making them brittle or yellow here and subject to cracking and failure. With 405 nanometer light,no degradation.
When it comes to real-world applications and using these lights in your facility, you can only run UVC systems when a room isn’t occupied. Again, I know I keep stressing this, but it is important. You see the hospital on the left, one light, no person in the room, it’s running its course. But, then, you can have 405 nanometer lights, on the right, when people are in the room, possibly when they’re at their cubicles in your office.
Now I want to get into a technology you may have heard about, called Far-UV, there’s been some press coverage on it. This is light with a 222 nanometer wavelength. It has a shorter wavelength, making it safer for human exposure. Early tests show Far-UV light can inactivate airborne pathogens, but cannot penetrate the outer layer of human skin. So as of right now, there are some early products being developed, like this portal you see on the right…person walks in, it disinfects them, then they can move on with their day. But, we wouldn’t recommend Far-UV products until more testing is done. It’s just not conclusive enough for us to say these products definitely work when it comes to germicidal properties.
Speaking of applications, like that portal, there are three main types of fixtures or devices on the market equipped with the more proven technology that we went over earlier today. And we’ll start off with the independent, which are germicidal lights that are used when no one is in the space. So up on the upper left you see the lights are on, no one’s there. So once everyone’s gone for the day, you turn those on, and when they return, you turn them off. But, one of these independent applications that has been going on for decades, is with an HVAC system. UVC lights are attached to an HVAC system and then they keep mold and bacteria out of the building’s air stream.
Then there are what we would call blended products that can run germicidal light or normal LED light manually or automatically with an occupancy sensor. So all 405 nanometer lights fall under this category since they have to be running all the time to be effective in killing pathogens as we showed you with those studies. 405 nanometer lights will change between running regular white light, those LED lights you’re used to, paired with 405 nanometer light when people are in the room, then just the germicidal light when people are gone for the day. This, of course, allows for custom disinfection schedules, if that’s something you’re interested in.
Then, there are mobile units that come on wheels and tripods. These are usually used in hospitals. Cleaning crews will take one of these units into a room, make sure no one’s there, let it run for a few minutes, and then once it’s done disinfecting, they’ll bring it back out and move it to the next room. These mobile units are usually equipped with the full UV spectrum. Now the robot on the right, with the more UVC colored light over there, will move autonomously around a room and disinfect it. It’s pretty neat technology that we will likely see more of in the future.
Lastly, there are air filtration units that feature a UV disinfection with air filters. If you look at this product here, it is a retrofit troffer, pretty cool, you don’t really have to replace all your lights as a retrofit. How it works is it pulls in the room’s air and takes it through an activated carbon and
HEPA filter and then takes then cleaner air through UVA and C lights, before it is repopulated into the space. So this keeps pathogens from falling on and contaminating your surfaces and the airflow rate on this is 50 CFM so keep that in mind when thinking about how many of these you would need in your facility.
Now I want to send it back to Carl so he could get more into how you can use these devices in your facilities.
Host: Great, thank you Vanessa. Let me just kind of preface here, I want to take now what we’ve done with the science and the background there and now show you some examples in industry.
We have an array of people from different industries on this call here today and so hopefully you can gain value from one of the industries – we’ll touch on six – but if you’re in one that’s outside of that we’re happy to have an individual conversation, that makes sense as well.
So let’s talk about the grocery store right, that? That might not be a place that we’ve been frequenting it much recently, maybe you’ve been doing Instacart or something at home. But, the reality is the grocery store is a place where you have a lot of different people, you know, in this case on the screen, that are touching produce and engaging with different products and can have a lot of contamination and so we obviously don’t want that in our food supply and so a great application in a grocery store would be the blended approach of 405 nanometer providing that constant, you know, cleanliness. But, you obviously don’t have many times in a grocery store, particularly 24-hour stores, that you can use UVC and so that constant would really help, but UV can very well work in an air filtration system that may already exist in that facility or in certain areas, say like in the meat department where you can have some of those individual troffers that filter smaller volumes of air within a particular room or space.
Food production is a massive application for germicidal lights. So, a couple different applications here, you know in the blended environment, like in this photo here, having high bay fixtures that actually are able to offer the 405 nanometer light blended to offer a more complete disinfection means and then also having independent UVC that might be in certain segments within the facility. So for example, in a chicken processing plant here it may be right before the chicken gets packaged. And there’s been a lot of research showing how you can reduce the bacteria within the package that way, but also extend its shelf life by having that UVC cycle just prior to packaging.
Warehouse and retail space, so this is an interesting one because if you think about a warehouse with what I was talking about earlier, you have very few bodies in a large square foot area, but the problem actually most recently faced with warehouses in particularly the retail space are how they’re handling returns, because I was talking to an executive at Nordstrom, for example, the other day, and they’re going to be implementing what they believe other retailers are going to implement as well, that they are literally going to take a return and put it in an envelope, seal it, and set it aside for three days before any employee can interact with it or even inspect the return for processing because they’re trying to eliminate any spread of disease as it goes forward. So that again would be a great application particularly in certain spaces for a blended for a 405 nanometer and then again for the independent UVC. We see in this case it could be used in one or two settings; either one, where you have the total room after hours that’s cleansing, or you have a small conveyor belt system or something that’s using UVC on those isolated returns or items as they re-enter a facility.
Specialized manufacturing environments, especially those, say like medical devices that really require that cleanliness when exiting a facility and in having clean room spaces in that having independent 405 nanometer light that is focused in those areas and doing disinfection cycles can really help in those spaces as well as in most of those environments you have lower ceilings, sometimes in air filtration, that you can either have centralized systems, or again those, the troffer that Vanessa showed earlier that has the LEDs and the filtration built-in, if you have a drop ceiling environment.
Offices and workspace, so this is actually the ideal scenario that that troffer was designed for with the UV filtration of being able to take air in a slow volume of air and bring it through and circulate air within a space and cleansing any of those aerosol traveling germs and bacteria through it and eradicate the viruses in the process. On the other hand, blended 405 nanometer light is probably the more economical solution of having a wider coverage area and killing off any bacteria that may be growing on any surfaces in that space.
Last place also heavily trafficked by humans and it makes sense for 405 nanometer light is eating areas lounge areas, I’ll expand that to truck driver lounges to locker room areas that you might have, are areas that bacteria can grow quickly and also with food around sometimes you can have mold growing as well, if tucked somewhere are not being cleaned properly and 405 nanometer light is highly effective in these areas, again, another application that UV or filtration might make sense, but most likely in these cases the levels of inactivity in the areas does not make sense to even have a timer delay UVC environment.
So the question I kind of leave you with here is, “What areas your facility could potentially benefit from germicidal light?’ And that’s really going to be a unique question to each one of you because each facility is different. Now, do I think that it means that every facility is going to retrofit, there’s an opportunity to change out a whole facility, likely no. What it really comes down to is finding those isolated areas within the facility that make the most sense to make a difference and in some of the applications we showed, so food processing, common areas, offices, where you can really reduce that spread of disease and bring it forward.
And so what I want to offer up to you and our team and the research that we’ve done is we’re happy to have a discussion individually with each and every one of you and help guide you along the process, point you in the right direction if it’s something that we can help you out with and it might be a fit for the research that we’ve done in products that we can help offer you, outstanding, if not we’re happy to point you in other directions to services and offerings that might be a better fit to help you accomplish your goals.
With that, I’ll turn my camera back on here, but I really appreciate each one of you for again taking the time to join us here today. We’re gonna turn it over to questions, but I’ve shared my email address and Vanessa’s here so if you don’t have someone that you have a direct relationship already with at US Energy Recovery please feel free to take down our information here and send us an email after the call here and we’re happy to arrange any time to speak to meet with you here.
But I think we have a few questions…Vanessa if you want to jump into those.
Presenter: Yeah, we’ve got a question about…is this disinfection method approved by EPA and recognized as acceptable by OSHA? First of all when it comes to 405 nanometer we would have to get back to you on that with that technology. As for UVC I can look more into it, but I think I will respond to this question later since it’s not something I can say for sure, but since UVC has been used for so long I’m pretty confident that it’s been approved by at least one of these organizations.
Another question is do you know the contact time needed for COVID, to kill it, critical to know?
Host: Yeah the research that we’ve seen on the COVID side, it’s no different in a disinfection time than any other virus from a UVC perspective and back to some of the data that Vanessa was showing earlier, the dosage is really key, but like in the environment she was showing where you have a 3.4 second dosage, again, understand with UVC one of the big factors here is that you’re breaking down the DNA and the RNA structure. COVID-19 as an RNA bound disease because it’s an animal born disease and so what you’re trying to do is to break down that RNA structure and prevent it from replicating and so you’re not necessarily immediately killing it you’re stopping the protein and the virus from replicating and so you have a cycle of cleansing that kills it off and then eventually it dies and so that period could be even after the dosing once you’ve killed the actual DNA or broken apart the DNA you may even see an hour and a half to some cases three hours cycle depending on the dosage before you’ve truly cleansed and eradicated the space because that naturally has stopped again that replication process.
Presenter: That looks like all we have. Does anyone else have questions? We’re here to answer them.
Host: Yeah, chime in. If you have anything else please send them in and we’re happy to address any.
Presenter: Carl, can answer this one. What would be the next steps needed to look at if I’m interested in putting this in my facility?
Host: Sure, most of this work actually can be done, well, one of two ways. Facility drawings are generally going to be the easiest because we need to know what your space is and so what is, the environment in your space. Is it food production, is it office? And then looking at facility drawings and knowing the height of the room and the type of light fixtures you might have. If it’s a light fixture application you’re interested in or what the application is for air volume and how we can size those. So the process simply would be reaching out to us. We would give you a list of a few things that we’re looking for information on and then we would start to pair you with solutions because, again, as Vanessa mentioned and I want to stress, the dosage is crucial here. So taking even that troffer that cleanses the air it’s not as simple as taking an open office space and just dropping one of those in to replace one of your fixtures, it needs to be sized appropriately so that you can get the impacted results. And so that’s what our team can help guide you with and put the layouts together. And those of you that are familiar with the lighting world, for example, it’s not as simple as, like, a photometric calculation that is a layout of a room and how coverage. Dosage operates a little differently and there’s some more engineering involved and we’d be happy to help you out with that.
Presenter: Another question about emailing out this video as a follow-up. We are definitely planning to send this recording to everyone so if you needed to look over slides or you had more questions we’ll have that email out soon.
And someone else, Carl, missed the exact timeline on killing the COVID virus. Can you repeat what you said earlier with the contact time needed to kill COVID?
Host: Yeah, sure happy to. It’s a dosage based discussion on how intense the dosage is on it, but I gave kind of the metric back to the data of other viruses that Vanessa showed on the, like, the 3.4 second cycle of eliminating the DNA and the RNA binding and breaking the disease from replicating itself.
Presenter: And then someone asks about a setting that we didn’t touch on – dental setting. Any recommendations in particular to aerosol present, what to use in this case.
Host: Sure, so that the dental application would be really twofold as well. So you have air filtration capturing the aerosol component of it the, you know if we’re talking dental offices having that troffer solution where you’re actually changing over the air and cleansing any contaminants that may be in the air is an outstanding solution because it has the UVC and UVA built into it as well as a HEPA filter and so it’s really able to offer you that premium level of cleanliness of the air and improving the air quality overall beyond even just your normal disinfection that a light fixture would cause. but if you’re looking at designing something, pairing that with a 405 nanometer that offers surface level protection of any equipment that’s sitting out on surfaces where you know different dental tools may be placed down would be the ideal scenario.
Presenter: And then someone asked about the typical dosage for UVC to clean surfaces. And when it comes to the research it really depends on the species of the bacteria microorganism so if you have a specific concern about one particular bacteria or disease or several then let us know we can get back to you on that question.
Host: I’ll jump in on a couple here. Douglas asks, “Is the FDA in the process of reviewing the 222 nanometer?”
Yes, it is being reviewed and it’s something that we’re eagerly watching. There are products on the market with it and can be implemented. Vanessa showed the portal, but there’s also other products using it on the market. Our only concern is, we’re taking a little bit of a cautious approach, is that we haven’t seen a timeline on actually showing the impact on the studies on when those results and what the, again, the dosage requirements are to achieve some of that. I think there’s some great positive energy there and there’s a lot of research dollars particularly amplified by COVID-19 being put into those areas. I imagine we’ll have that fairly soon. I would guess potentially within the next, you know, three to four weeks that we’d start to see some of that data fall, but the reason we didn’t spend too much time and I’m happy to host another follow-up to this as well if we have that data and can give something more solid on where we stand.
Presenter: I will add that so far the studies have shown that it hasn’t been as effective as these other wavelengths we’ve talked about and that’s why we didn’t want to recommend it. I’m sure it can disinfect, but it probably won’t be to the levels of these other products so once we get those studies that Carl mentioned we’ll be sure to maybe have another webinar or share that with you.
Brian asked, “Are there any off-the-shelf products I can invest in today to start to clean my business?”
Host: Yeah, so the products actually we mentioned, some of them are relatively off-the-shelf so when we’re talking about, you know, like, light fixtures, whether it’s a strip fixture or it’s an office troffer those are available today and are something that you can immediately implement in your business today. There’s not even long lead times necessarily on it today but it is something, but that’s growing.
The UV wands, I know we didn’t spend too much time on them, but finding a quality UV wand can locally disinfect certain items and even the cell phone you know, disinfectors. I kind of made a joke of it earlier. The reason being is there’s just so many kind of money-hungry knockoffs in my opinion on it that you just don’t know the quality you’re getting. Much of it is imported and so that’s our primary concern there of finding those units. There are some, they generally are pretty costly, the ones that are the most effective and we can try to help point you in the right direction. I know I mentioned that’s not what our presentation is about, but if we can help you there we’ll try to and if we have suppliers that we can help make introductions to we’re happy to.
Presenter: And there was a follow-up question from that person. What about areas that are not in the line of sight, will the light clean those?
No, it has to be within the line of sight of the light so keep in mind if something’s in the shadows it won’t be able to kill those types of things so you would have to make sure that the light is covering everything that you want to disinfect.
Someone wants to know about the cost of these products?
Host: Yeah, the cost, I wish I had a great answer for you here. What I will tell you is some of them are very affordable, particularly when we’re talking about the 405 nanometer light sources, they’re really a relatively small adder to an existing light fixture so particularly if you have buildings that you’re considering from a lighting project perspective of already doing something it’s a relatively low-cost adder to add into those spaces particularly in certain areas. But, when we’re talking food production in different spaces it really depends on the area and I hate to keep emphasizing the dosage, but I don’t want to give you false information on what you might be able to accomplish by low-balling something because you need to make sure that you have the right density in that environment and even just something as a foot in height could make a big difference in dosage in a like a 405 nanometer or even the UVC mounted on a timer that works itself after hours in those spaces, but we’re happy to take that offline and answer that directly on an example area in your facility.
Another question about portable units that can sit in a room and filter the room and the air.
Yes, there are obviously the Amazon types that you could buy for your personal use, but there are a lot of, and I didn’t go into those obviously because we had so much other technology we’re covering, but there are huge portable units that they use in hospitals and those types of things that will be effective as well to clean the air.
Host: And that’s an area by the way that we can help you with as well, if you do have questions on that. The portable units, you know, those are great applications for hospitals or using them, particularly like operating theaters use UVC light extensively across the United States. And these mobile units are becoming more common for patient rooms because after a patient checks out they can bring a mobile unit in. The robots do it autonomously as Vanessa mentioned, but the other mobile units can be brought into a space, close the door, have humans leave the space, start like a five-minute timer, come back, and then move the unit to the next space. Those are very common and that’s that episodal cleansing process that Vanessa mentioned and that’s very commonly used in critical spaces of having that changeover and knowing that you’re starting with a completely clean space and they’re very effective at doing that.
Presenter: Did the bulbs require a special ballast and I assume 120 volts is acceptable?
Host: Yes, so it’s not as simple as just replacing a bulb. So if I imagine the questions driven around, like, if you’ve used for example, an LED bulb before that you can put in place that’s either like a ballast ready tube or something of that nature that you can put in place your facility. This isn’t going to be that simple. We’re talking literally looking at a fixture that’s designed to do it. And so the fixture will come and I’ll use a 405 nanometer as an example, but UVC is the same generally. It’s going to have its normal light source, which would be your traditional white LEDs, whatever color temperature you choose for your building, and then it would have a second setup that would be its cleansing setup, so that might be the 405 nanometer, it would have its own independent driver, its own LED light board, or if it was UVC it would be a, you know, UVC light board in there to provide the cleansing for those spaces.
Presenter: Someone asks Carl about the availability of these solutions.
Host: Yeah, they generally are available. There are some that are shipping in as little as two weeks and this is custom product I’m talking about here, that’s shipping in as little as two weeks. Right now I would say that I imagine that is changing and that it will be harder to get some of this stuff as the momentum builds and some of those are implementing so if you’re looking at it I suggest you look at implementing it fairly quickly or at least starting those discussions because I know of an engineering company also has a more in-depth four-hour presentation into what we’ve presented on today that has thousands of people sitting on it, engineer level for lighting manufacturers and that to learn about implementing this product into the products that they manufacture and make and so I think we’re gonna see more products available, which is great news, but we’re also going to see a lot of interest in incorporating these and, again, it comes down to because they are really affordable solutions for many businesses to implement. And so I think we’ll see growing popularity with the overall concern and kind of backed the cost numbers that I mentioned before. I know that as an energy company there’s a lot of focus on reduction and electricity costs, but really if you look at the numbers here, in this case, this is one of those non-energy benefits scenarios where you can do something with a light fixture, for example, that they can really drive some intense savings for a building if you can keep people in the workplace and not passing the disease to one another.
Presenter: And I keep seeing more questions about the dosage and intensity of light in order to kill COVID-19. Obviously, we’ve mentioned that this depends on the facility you’re in and all these other things and requirements so if you’re really concerned about that, and I know you are, please contact us or we will contact you since we see your names here and then get in contact and let you know, you know, what we can do for your facility in terms of COVID-19.
There’s a question here…a company operates multifamily apartments and are often in and out of residents’ apartments. With your great understanding of the different technology, what do you believe is a safe application to keep residents and our staff safe when it comes to these multifamily units?
Host: Yeah, excellent question. The one we’ve seen used most commonly in multifamily because, again, the UVC you want to avoid that exposure to humans and so generally you’re questioning liability on those spaces and when people can enter those spaces and so we’ve seen the 405 nanometers be really effective in those spaces. So generally multifamily units have, particularly type A properties and that, have gym areas, they have common lounge areas, they have lobbies in different places, maybe even common hallways, those are great applications for 405 nanometer because they will provide that overall cleanliness 24 hours a day and really even assist the cleaning cost that you have in those facilities. It’s not a direct replacement for, you know, general sanitation with chemicals and different things, but it definitely is a huge improvement in those environments
Presenter: Okay, not seeing any more questions…
Host: Excellent. Well, thank you everyone for joining us. And if you didn’t get your question answered for some reason and we didn’t see it, we will reach out to you individually and make sure that we get your questions answered for you or on a couple of them that Vanessa mentioned that she will gather some more research and follow-up, but in the meantime, again, you have both of our contact info here and hopefully, you know someone that you’ve been working with already at US Energy recovery and they can help point you in the right direction as well. We’re here as a resource for you, like I said if we’re not a fit for something that you’re looking for we’re happy to point you in the right direction, but hopefully, as you’re looking into this and exploring some of these technologies we can help guide you along the way and make your facility a safer facility that really decreases the fear that people have of reintroducing the workforce into your environment. So thanks again!