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Originally Published by WebMD

A type of ultraviolet light called far-UVC, which is safe to shine on people, could dramatically reduce the transmission of airborne germs when used indoors, according to a new study published in Scientific Reports, a journal by Nature.

In an experiment, shining the light for less than 5 minutes reduced the number of airborne microbes by more than 98%, the researchers found. The technology could become a new “hands-off” way to reduce the spread of airborne diseases such as COVID-19 and the flu, they say.

“Far-UVC rapidly reduces the amount of active microbes in the indoor air to almost zero, making indoor air essentially as safe as outdoor air,” David Brenner, PhD, one of the researchers and director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University, said in a statement.

“Using this technology in locations where people gather together indoors could prevent the next potential pandemic,” he said.

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