IES, IUVA Collaborate to Publish ANSI Standards for Measuring UV-C Sources Used for Disinfection

The Illuminating Engineering Society and the International Ultraviolet Association have partnered to assemble experts in the measurement of ultraviolet C-band emissions to develop American National Standards for the measurement and characterization of UV-C device performance.

UV-C devices for healthcare and personal care have proliferated in recent years, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the absence of standards to enable accurate measurements and comparisons of the products. Through this partnership IES and IUVA aim to cooperatively promote awareness of and improve the application of ultraviolet “disinfection” technology in the healthcare system, initially through the development of standardized methods of measurement of ultraviolet disinfection products including UV lamps, luminaires and lighting/radiating systems, utilizing both discharge (e.g., low-pressure mercury and xenon) and solid-state (e.g., light-emitting diode) technologies.

Annually 99,000 people are estimated to die from healthcare-associated infections in the United States alone, more than 11 people per hour. HAIs are also estimated to result in $10 billion in direct medical costs annually and up to $147 billion in total societal costs. UV-C emissions are known to cause photochemical damage to nucleic acids and proteins, inactivating and thus rendering pathogens incapable of reproducing. UV-C disinfection devices are therefore useful in healthcare settings to reduce patient and healthcare worker exposure to these pathogens when combined with standard cleaning strategies. To enable broader UV-C adoption, healthcare administrators need credible and comparable product performance data to inform investments for both new construction and retrofits.

A series of American National Standards are envisioned, beginning with two slated for publication by year’s end. The first standard, Approved Method for Electrical and Ultraviolet Measurement of Discharge Sources, will detail laboratory procedures for the measurement and characterization of low-pressure mercury and other discharge sources. The second, Approved Method for Electrical and Ultraviolet Measurement of Solid-State Sources, will do the same for UV-LED components.