East Tennessee businesses fight COVID with UV air purification

Knoxville, Tenn. (WATE) – According to the CDC, ultraviolet light can be a useful tool in reducing the spread of bacteria and viruses like COVID-19. Some East Tennessee businesses in our area are now installing UV air purification systems in heating and cooling units.

Are the systems effective?

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is one of many companies that have installed UV air purification and disinfection systems throughout their buildings.

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies Maintenance and Engineering Manager Jay Bryan said: “As the air passes through our building and through our air handling systems to recirculate, it passes through these large UVC lamps that kill germs”.

As the pandemic continues, they are doing everything they can to keep their employees, animals and visitors safe.

“We try to do our best to make sure our facilities are clean, but obviously Covid 19 has provided new challenges in that regard,” Bryan added.

They say this system is another layer of protection.

Hotworx Knoxville owner and CASPR distributor Robert LeBus uses Complete Disinfectant Solutions’ “CASPR IN-DUCT” air purification system in all of his buildings.

The system also uses UV light.

LeBus says “it’s up to 99.6% effective at killing mold, viruses, and bacteria, so it really covers the full spectrum, so I was like putting those into my businesses.”

Allergy specialist Dr. Don Ellenburg explains that ultraviolet radiation stops the growth of microorganisms on surfaces.

“Ultraviolet light has been incorporated into heating and air conditioning systems in an attempt to sterilize and disinfect the air. Unfortunately, it takes a very good dose of ultraviolet C radiation to kill many bacteria and viruses.

But he adds that more studies need to be done.

“We don’t know how much is needed or how long it’s needed.”

Either way, companies that have these UV air purification systems say they feel better about having them than not having them.

“I wanted to make sure that my employees were working in the safest environment possible and that our customers could come in and be sure they were in the safest environment possible,” adds LeBus.

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