How can UVC light help to keep your staff and visitors safe

UK-based manufacturers, BiocareUV, discuss their Far UVC solution created to tackle harmful pathogens, viruses, and bacteria in minutes.

As the world struggles with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, scientists warn that deadly outbreaks of other viruses are inevitable. History has made this quite clear: over six deadly influenza pandemics and epidemics have destroyed the lives of millions of people in just over a century. Viruses like Ebola have spilled over from animals about 25 times in the past 50 years and at least seven coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, have brought illness and death.

Western perceptions of pandemics went from a feeling that such things were from deep history to the grudging acceptance of lockdown, and finally, a hope that the worst is now behind us. Complacency though is all too evident with the general public, tired of restrictions threatening their quality of life to the point where we are all more prepared to take risks, risks which do threaten actual life.

Credit Bill Gates for stating that the most important war people face is the war with germs. But as Professor of Biology, Paul W. Ewald foresaw, we prefer not to accept the likelihood of an influenza pandemic with the kind of lethality of the 1918 Spanish flu. It is simply inconvenient to accept the possibility and react accordingly. To be proactive in preventing disease transmission, Ewald refers to the requirement for a “decisive technology.”

The answer lies in a tranche of new technologies and new behaviours. Even though we espouse the potential benefits of Far UVC, our view is that our products will become more ubiquitous and accepted only in time. There is little residual doubt among the scientific community as to the efficacy and safety of the 222 nanometres (nm) wavelength in the germicidal role for occupied spaces, but we recognise that public acceptance of UVC exposure may be a little longer in coming.

How does UVC work?

Ultraviolet radiation covers the wavelength range between 100-280nm and has a known germicidal (bacteria and virus inactivating) effect. UVC radiation is already a well-established technology for the destruction of bacteria and viruses, being employed widely across multiple industries, such as healthcare and food.

Most UVC disinfection systems currently use wavelengths between 240-280nm, with 254nm being the most prevalently used. Unfortunately, exposure to 254nm has been shown to cause damage to skin and eyes in humans, and therefore cannot be employed as a solution for the inactivation of bacteria and viruses in public spaces when people are present.

However, recently published scientific studies have shown that a different wavelength of UV light at 222nm, when properly filtered, has the same bacteria and virus inactivating ability of 254nm UV, without damage to skin or eyes. This new-to-market Far UVC (200-235nm) technology can therefore be a bacteria and virus-inactivating solution, both airborne and surface-based, that can be deployed in public spaces while people are present.

This Far UVC at 222nm wavelength is the technology we utilise in our products.

How can UVC light help to keep your staff and visitors safe

“The prevention of a future pandemic may not be possible, however, being prepared is!” said Mike Humphreys, Director of BiocareUV.

BiocareUV is a UK-based company producing Far-UVC products for use in all sectors. Whether it be to safely sanitise hospitals, dental surgeries, airports, emergency vehicles or offices, BiocareUV products destroy all known pathogens, bacteria, and viruses on both the surface and in the air.

Recent BiocareUV product trials have been undertaken in hospitals and dental surgeries, transport and the education sectors and have shown that the products are without a doubt doing what they have been designed and manufactured to do.

“We recently installed an array of our BioTILE systems into the High Dependency Ward at Ninewells Hospital in Tayside as part of the SBRI (Small Business Research Initiative),” said Adrian Leatherland, Product Development Manager at BiocareUV.

The Scottish-Government-funded Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition has supported several projects through the Chief Scientific Office (CSO) with additional contributions from Transport Scotland.

How can UVC light help to keep your staff and visitors safe

“The aim of the SBRI is to research and develop solutions that aid prevention or reduce the spread of droplet and airborne biological hazards, reduce NHS staff reliance on single-use disposable PPE, and allow the return of clinical procedures which are currently considered high risk because of their aerosol generating nature,” explained Adrian.

The Test Bed environment is provided by NHS Tayside and should bring expertise from technical, clinical and support areas in order to consider and evaluate a potentially broad range of available solutions.

“BiocareUV’s specific challenge is to offer potential solutions for air and/or surface decontamination which will reduce the infection risk in an occupied area and the need for PPE to be worn.”

Knightsbridge Dental Care in the heart of London is one of the most exclusive and finest dental care practices in the UK. With over 60 years serving the community, it is the longest established and highest Google-rated general dental practice in the area.

The safety of the general public and staff is of utmost importance and with the recent pandemic and the potential of future superbug rises, now was the time to act.

How can UVC light help to keep your staff and visitors safe

The installation consists of the BioTILE arrays being fitted into the decontamination room, the reception and all three surgeries. The system controls the lights so that they are at a safe duty cycle when the rooms are occupied but goes to maximum disinfection power when the spaces are unoccupied which enables the rooms to be disinfected much faster between appointments. This ensures that the room is completely decontaminated of all viruses and bacteria, making it safe for the staff and patients.

New disinfectant technology can be a money saver

This technology is not only amazing for the staff and patients visiting the practice, but it also comes with huge financial benefits. The need for liquid sanitisation has now been taken away, meaning that electrical equipment is safe, and the time needed to sanitise rooms has been drastically reduced. There is a much lower chance of staff absences due to sickness, as any germs that may be taken into the areas will be destroyed.

The fallow time for sanitisation is drastically reduced, from up to 20 minutes depending on the room, to just a few minutes using the Far-UVC tiles. This means there will no longer be large gaps between appointments and reduces the patient wait time. Assuming that a single surgery room is utilised for eight hours a day, with 30 minutes allocated to each appointment, then a 20-minute fallow period would allow 10 appointments per day. Drop the fallow period to five minutes and the number of patients seen per day increases to 13.

Over a period of one working week, that equates to 15 more patients or up to 780 over a year. The cost and patient benefit in that fallow time reduction are essential for practices.

The BioTILE consists of dual-use, retrofitted LED lamps which integrate with your current ceiling lights and automatically sanitise public spaces throughout the day.

The BioWAND is a handheld, everyday device. The unit is carried on the user’s back and the user moves the BioWAND over the desired area, safely sanitising the area and killing all viruses and bacteria. The wand is ideal to get into hard-to-reach areas. Designed for easy use, with little training, rapid, dry, environmentally sound sanitisation, for most of the public, this will likely be their first contact with UV-based solutions.

The BioPORT is a large walk-through gate which actively decontaminates people on entry, deactivating both airborne and surface-based pathogens.

Finally, we have the BioLUME, this lamp unit fits into high ceilings. Capable of inactivating 99.9% of pathogens, including COVID-19, within an occupied room in seconds.

After spending years developing the software and products to guarantee effectiveness and safety, BiocareUV has now received numerous certificates of standards. The products are CE and UKCA marked; the scientific and government support behind the research has been incredible and the future of Far-UVC sanitisation is now upon us.

The public deserves nothing less. If they can learn to accept Far UVC as an everyday part of the cleaning of their work and travel spaces and are reassured that their output contributes to the safety of their environment, then Far UVC will become at least one of a range of decisive technologies that might just ensure that we do not sleepwalk into the next pandemic. Who knows, the next event may just be closer than we would like to think.

“I do not want to live in a world where another pandemic can occur at any point. So the idea about installing a Far UVC light is that, had they been present at the start of COVID, it would not have had the global impact that it did have,” said Dr David Brenner, Director at Columbia University Medical Center. 

Samantha Bailey

Samantha (Sam) Bailey joined the Biocare team in March as Head of Sales and Business Development and is keen to show the world how BiocareUV products can change our lives.

With over 20 years experience in sales, marketing and business development Sam is excited to utilise her skills at BiocareUV. At the age of 26 Sam was promoted to Sales Director for a £20,000,000 company and has extensive experience working with resellers, distributors and end users in the UK and abroad. She then went on to work in the entertainment industry and spent 8 years expanding her love of international travel, cultures and languages, whilst successfully selling. With French, Russian and Italian under her belt she even spent time in Xian, China, learning Mandarin whilst working for Green Hippo Ltd.

After several years of Global Sales & BD development, ultimately moving to VP level and managing staff both in the UK and abroad, Sam decided to prioritise on her family and took a years sabbatical, after which she owned and ran her own business. Consulting to clients in many sectors and through agencies she has the ability to turn her hand to almost anything.

With operational, technical support, product development and marketing under her belt, Sam is a great asset to the team and brings these skills to the table to complement her Sales & BD role. Sam loves travelling and has spent years doing so in previous positions which gives her a unique insight not only to channel sales but also international business.

Antony Cooper

Antony has been with BiocareUV since March 2021 and is fully equipped to promote and market the brand to audiences worldwide.

Having been a marketeer for over 25 years, Antony trained with the world-renowned agency Saatchi & Saatchi in London.

Antony started his career in a large telecommunications company. He was responsible for both corporate and retail branding across the UK and in over 150 retail outlets.

Managing design teams across large advertising agencies and working on some of the UK’s biggest advertising campaigns, Antony has done it all.

Antony is excited to help bring BiocareUV to industry leaders worldwide and assist with creating a safer environment for all.

Dave Hickson

General / Corporate / Commercial Aviation experience over 44 years. Dave qualified LAME 1978 in New Zealand after apprenticeship National Airways Corporation (Air New Zealand).

Dave setup the Beechcraft Sales / Maintenance facility Ardmore Aerodrome Auckland in 1979 as Chief Engineer and carried out a number of Beech King Air ferry flight deliveries to Large corporations operating in NZ and Australia as Co-Pilot Engineer as part of Beechcraft development in NZ.

In 1981 Dave moved to Perth Western Australia to take a position with Skywest Airlines as LAME working on Corporate Jet and Regional Aircraft types.

1984-1988 Dave worked for Air Rarotonga, Cook Islands as Chief Engineer.

1989-1991 Dave moved to the UK starting at Qualitar as LAME Hanger 6 Manchester Int Airport.

1991-1997 FFV Aerotech / FLS Aerospace Manchester Dave worked as LAME Airframe/Engine and held company approvals on the following Aircraft types: B747-100,-200, SP, B757-200, MD 83, MD 82, Airbus A300, A320, A32, A319. Engines: RB211-C, E4, P&W JT9D, 2000, IAE V2500, CFM56. Dave was specialist A320 support engineer for the Company and managed the Airbus Heavy maintenance projects.

In 1995 Dave was promoted to Hanger Manager responsible Fleet Maintenance contract for Air 2000 and Air World.

1997 to present Dave has operated his own companies specialising in Repair/Refurbishment of Commercial Aircraft Cabin Interiors / IFE and development of Specialised Biocidal Chemicals for Cabin Sanitation and Water Filtration.

Aerocare is a Global Service provider and has worked for Major Scheduled Airlines, Charter Airlines and Leasing Companies providing total Cabin solutions, VIP Installations including IFE systems integration. Aerocare capability extends to manufacture of Bespoke upgrades in all Cabin Environments. Aerocare has been involved in a number of high profile VIP Cabin Developments for SilverJet B767, Air Macau A319, TAG FourSeasons B757-200, Saudi Private Aviation A319.

The Company has EASA 145/FAA 145, EASA 21G approvals and Dave is Accountable Manager for Aerocare International.

Aerocare more recently introduced a Corporate Jet Business to the Group in 2017 having acquired Hawker/Beechcraft business vacated by Marshall Aerospace at Chester Howarden Airfield.

Aerocare will provide servicing for Netjets and Hawker Private owners having passed CAA Audit 6-7th June 17. Aerocare will support Hanger Operations from Warrington for Workshops and the business will be heavily focused on development for Special Missions Modifications.

Adrian Leatherland

Adrian has been in the aviation and aerospace business for over 30 years.

Starting as a graduate apprentice with the Dowty Group in 1986, Adrian initially worked as an Avionics Systems Engineer for over 10 years on military and civil projects including Tornado, A320, Typhoon and A340.

Adrian has worked in many sectors of aviation and aerospace developing relationships with Airlines, Operators, OEMs, MROs and aviation support companies including SAS, Lufthansa Technik, Jet Aviation, KLM, Airbus, SR Technics, Rockwell Collins, Fokker Techniek, Elbit Systems, RUAG, Aerocare and Honeywell.

Examples of project management experience include establishing an EASA Part 147 Technical Training facility working with Lufthansa Technik and the development of a UAV Training Simulator working with Elbit Systems. Recently, Adrian has successfully project managed two Innovate UK Projects with Aerocare to demonstrate the effectiveness of Far UV Technology in a variety of settings using specifically designed Far UV devices. This included working with The University of Manchester and Wrexham Glyndwr University as well as London Gatwick Airport to develop equipment and trials to demonstrate the use of Far UV technology in real world applications.

Mike Humphreys

Mike joined Aerocare Aviation Services as the Special Missions Marketing Director in September 2017 and was responsible for starting BiocareUV in early 2020 as the Coronavirus crisis took hold.

Mike left the RAF after 23 years as a Tornado fast-jet navigator, weapons instructor and UAV Test Squadron Commanding Officer. His final 9-month tour was undertaken in Afghanistan as the NATO/ISAF Chief of Dynamic targets, during which time he was awarded the NATO Meritorious Service Medal. He joined BAES in 2009 as their Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) Requirements Manager where he was responsible for systems and capability development of the companies’ family of UAVs, including the HERTI, MANTIS and TARANIS systems. His time there included operating as a UAV Commander with deployed teams in various locations including the Middle East and Australia.

Mike joined Blue Bear Systems Research in 2012 as the Global Business Development & Account Manager, responsible for Strategy and the companies’ nascent synthetic development capability and maritime unmanned systems, delivering both an autonomous unmanned surface vessel and accompanying maritime synthetic environments to the UK MoD, and spent 3 years at the Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group as their Special Missions Marketing Director until joining AAS and building BiocareUV as a start-up.


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