Lighting firm Signify says UV light breaks down coronavirus particles in seconds

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Lighting firm Signify says one of its ultraviolet lights can “degrade” the coronavirus in a matter of seconds.

The world’s biggest lighting maker tested its latest technology with researchers at Boston University and found that the exposure of the virus to UV light helps eradicate it.

Signify hopes the product can be used to reduce the amount of Covid-19 in indoor areas and plans to make it available to other lighting companies.

Eric Rondolat, Signify CEO, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” that UV light particles are capable of disrupting virus DNA chains, rendering them ineffective.

“We knew that it (UV light) was effective against viruses in general, but we didn’t know if it was the case with Covid-19 so we worked with Boston University,” Rondolat said. “We carried out the tests many, many times and the metrics are quite interesting.”

Rondolat said the company’s UV light is able to eradicate 96% of the coronavirus with three seconds of exposure. That goes up to 99% for six seconds of exposure.

“It’s a preventive measure, meaning we are disinfecting objects, environments, surfaces, and the air,” said Rondolat, adding that schools, offices, hospitals, warehouses and manufacturing plants will all need to be disinfected in the future.

Retailers could also use a UV light chamber to disinfect clothes after people have tried them on, he said.

The discovery could provide a new revenue stream for Signify, which saw its revenues fall by 15% in the first quarter.

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