The US Department of Homeland Security revealed new details about its prospective study of the way to destroy ultraviolet radiation of the emerging corona virus, confirming that its experiment simulates natural sunlight with great accuracy.
A summary of this research was presented last week at the White House, although some scholars have called for it to publish a more comprehensive report.
Last week, US President Donald Trump raised questions when he posed the possibility of light becoming a medical treatment for the coronavirus.
The ministry official, William Brian, had told the media that the amount of the virus on a non-porous surface had shrunk by half in two minutes under sunlight, with temperatures between 21 and 24 degrees Celsius and humidity of 80 percent.
He added that the amount of virus hanging in the air had halved in 1.5 minutes when the humidity was 20% and at room temperature.
These results surprised the experts because most of the UV light in natural sunlight belongs to a subtype called UVA, which causes tanning and early wrinkles, but it has never been proven to eliminate viruses, according to what David Brenner, director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia College of Medicine.
On the other hand, it appears that part of this ultraviolet radiation called UVC is particularly effective in deforming the genetic material of animal and virus cells and is widely used in sterilization lamps (bactericidal UV rays), but it is not present in sunlight because Earth's atmosphere prevents its arrival.
Asked about additional details about the type of ultraviolet light that was used, Lloyd Huff, a ministry scientist overseeing the test, said: “The spectrum of light that was used was designed very similar to the natural sunlight that can be seen at noon at sea level in The location of mid-latitudes (for example, mid-Atlantic 40 ° N) on the first day of the summer. "
But Brenner, who is conducting research in another area of the ultraviolet spectrum called far ultraviolet, which kills microbes without penetrating human skin, said the ministry’s findings were not consistent with previous research.
He explained that "there is a research paper reviewed by publications issued by the US Food and Drug Administration showing that the SARS-Cove virus did not respond to UV light (although it responded to UVC light)."
"It makes sense to assume that all coronaviruses respond in almost the same way to light," he added.