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Can a Ceiling Fan Equipped with UV Lights Kill Coronavirus?
September 28, 2020 News


There have been numerous misconceptions in battling COVID-19: consuming alcohol and antibiotics, drinking bleach or warm water, eating garlic and even staying away from 5G cell towers, all to avoid contracting the coronavirus. However, all of these have already been debunked by the World Health Organisation (WHO), who is instead advising people to observe minimum health standards.

But what about UV light? Many people today are using devices equipped with UV lights such as lamps, sterilisers and even robots in the hopes of killing the virus, particularly the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) which causes COVID-19. How effective are they, really?

According to the WHO, UV radiation can cause skin irritation and damage your eyes, warning people not to disinfect any part of their body with UV lights. Although it shouldn’t be applied directly to a person, UV lights are helpful in sanitising phones, surfaces and other objects the coronavirus could cling to.

To give you some background information, in essence, UV light comes in three types: UVA, UVB and UVC, which are all produced naturally by the sun. The first two are the only types that reach the Earth’s surface, sometimes causing sunburn. UVC on the other hand is the strongest, even causing cancers but fortunately, Earth’s atmosphere absorbs it before it can reach the surface.

With enough exposure to UVC, we are able to damage the DNA and RNA of germs so that they can’t replicate, effectively killing or inactivating a microorganism or virus. With this outcome in mind, the application of UVC for disinfection has been adopted by manufacturers of various devices that offer sterilisation of coronavirus.

US-based manufacturer Big Ass Fans is one to follow suit of installing UV lights in their fans, of all things. The Haiku UV-C is a smart ceiling fan equipped with ultraviolet lights built into the upper portion and aimed up at the ceiling. Basically, as the fan circulates air throughout the room, the UV lights will kill airborne pathogens that are drawn into the path of the UV lights. In this way also, Big Ass Fans ensures that the UV lights will not hit any person, as the ceiling fan is situated at a height of 7 feet or above.

“With regards to the aerosol testing, we saw approximately a 48% reduction [of airborne SARS-CoV-2] above the fan at 5 minutes and approximately an 86% reduction above the fan at 10 minutes”, explained Kevin Noble according to an article released by CNET. Kevin is the COO of Innovative Bioanalysis, the California lab that tested the fan against the coronavirus. He claimed that above 10 minutes or so, the fan sees up to 99.99% of reduction.

Big Ass Fans told CNET that they are planning to deploy Haiku UV-C at homes, offices, public spaces and classrooms. In a test including two fans situated in a hypothetical classroom, the Haiku UV-C managed to reduce a student’s risk of exposure during a 60-minute class from 39% to 5%. For a teacher spending seven hours in the room over the course of the day, the risk of exposure fell from 97% to 30%.

However, Big Ass Fans is still not planning to make a less expensive version of the fan (which costs USD$ 1244, at the time of writing). Its focus, for now, is on businesses and public organisations looking for ways to protect people in shared spaces, especially with their Clean Air System, their full-service air disinfection solution.

But with rising fears of possible cancer-inducing effects of things like 5G radiation and even the infrared thermometers used much more extensively since the pandemic hit, we can’t help but wonder how the general reaction will be over these UV-light-emitting fans.