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The Application of Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation to Control Transmission of Airborne Disease: Bioterrorism Countermeasure

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Synopsis
Bioterrorism is an area of increasing public health concern. The intent of this article is to review the air cleansing technologies available to protect building occupants from the intentional release of bioterror agents into congregate spaces (such as offices, schools, auditoriums, and transportation centers), as well as through outside air intakes and by way of recirculation air ducts. Current available technologies include increased ventilation, filtration, and ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI)

UVGI is a common tool in laboratories and health care facilities, but is not familiar to the public, or to some heating, ventilation, and air conditioning engineers. Interest in UVGI is increasing as concern about a possible malicious release of bioterror agents mounts. Recent applications of UVGI have focused on control of tuberculosis transmission, but a wide range of airborne respiratory pathogens are susceptible to deactivation by UVGI. In this article, the authors provide an overview of air disinfection technologies, and an in-depth analysis of UVGI—its history, applications, and effectiveness.

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