Publications by authors named "Antônio Américo Cardoso"

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Effectiveness of a UVC air disinfection system for the HVAC of an ICU.

Eur Phys J Plus 2022 18;137(1):37. Epub 2021 Dec 18.

Departamento de Física, Universidade Federal de Sergipe, São Cristóvão, SE 49100-000 Brazil.

Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) uses short-wave ultraviolet (UVC) light to inactivate organisms like viruses, bacteria, and fungi. UVC inactivates a wide range of microorganisms by damaging the structure of nucleic acids and proteins at the molecular level, so they become unable to replicate and cause disease. Thus, UVC can improve indoor air quality by controlling bioaerosols and can be used as an engineering device to interrupt the transmission of pathogenic organisms and potential bioterrorism agents. Recently, the World Health Organization recognized that the COVID-19 virus could be transmitted across large distances, suggesting that indoor ventilation is key in airborne transmission. As a test for the future dissemination of UVC light installations to improve indoor air quality in Hospitals in Sergipe State, Brazil, we made a first installation of UVGI disinfection lamps, strategically placed in the Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the University Hospital of Lagarto, Federal University of Sergipe, Brazil. Six 15 W low-vapor-pressure mercury lamps emitting 253.7 nm UVGI were installed in the ducts of the fan coil, maximizing their luminous interaction in the air passage. One of the greatest advantages of this type of installation is that the lamps were completely covered, avoiding any risk of hazardous exposure to people and animals. Microbiological tests were carried out to verify the germicidal effect, analyzing the viability of microorganisms circulating in the environment. In this paper, we present our encouraging results, demonstrating the effectiveness of the installation, suggesting that similar devices should be installed in HVAC systems to avoid biological risk to people inside buildings. In addition, we believe that this study may provide useful evidence and guidance for the design of equipment intended to abate the microorganisms that may be used in CBRNE terror attacks.
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December 2021