NewsTechnologyAre UV-C lights ‘dangerous’ to building users & operators? Too many are, warns LIA

Built environment professionals and business owners are reminded of the dangers of the UV-C light by the UK lighting sector’s professional body. 
Content Team4 years ago5 min

The Lighting Industry Association (LIA) has warned that ‘a significant number of devices appearing on the UK market’, many of which are targeted at consumers and small businesses, are ‘potentially dangerous.’

In a statement issued September 2020, the LIA says that UV-C light ‘can pose a hazard to human health if not used correctly,’ and warns members of the public are not to purchase any UV-C products without seeking third party assurances that they are safe for use.

UV-C light has long been used as a measure for sanitisation of air, surfaces and water and is known to kill bacteria and viruses when used correctly. During the coronavirus pandemic there has been an understandable increasing interest in this subject. However, the LIA has become aware over recent months of a significant number of devices appearing on the market, many targeted at consumers and small businesses, which are potentially dangerous. 

Check carefully 

The LIA does point out that that there are professional UV-C devices available from reputable manufacturers which are designed to be operated safely and effectively but these are generally for specialist applications by trained operators.

LIA’s advice  

The LIA has, over the last few months, been working to understand the value as well as dangers of UV-C light in the fight against bacteria and viruses including membership of the International UV Association (IUVA). 

Its scientists have tested a number of devices claiming to kill viruses and have reported the outcomes to the relevant market surveillance authorities where safety concerns have been identified. Public Health England has also tested a number of similar devices and have raised concerns over their safety and effectiveness.

The LIA recommends that anyone wishing to understand better the safe and effective utilisation and application of UV-C should contact The LIA.  Its laboratory has invested in the equipment to test for electrical and optical safety, wavelength and the exposure required to achieve published kill rates. 

LIA members are advised to contact the LIA laboratory should they wish to explore testing of UV-C equipment.

The subject of UV-C light and its application as germicidal irradiation is moving quickly as interest in its use against coronaviruses grows. The LIA continues to monitor the situation and will update information as it becomes available.

The LIA signposts information from the Global Lighting Association available here. 

Visit the LIA’s website for further information.

For more information on light, click here

Content Team

Work in Mind is a content platform designed to give a voice to thinkers, businesses, journalists and regulatory bodies in the field of healthy buildings.

Subscribe to our newsletter