Puerto Rican companies Air Logix and Technical Industrial Sales joined forces to manufacture boxes featuring a germicidal light that works on a microwave electromagnetic spectrum, to disinfect and sterilize medical equipment, as the COVID-19 virus rages around the world.
Faustino García-Rivera, president of Air Logix, said given the health challenges worldwide, and seeing the existing need for medical materials for health professionals, he began designing this safety and protection tool for medical work areas, elderly homes, and medical facilities in general.
“The security, organization and protection needs of our health professionals are essential to face the great challenges that we are experiencing due to COVID-19. With this in mind, our company set out to design and build this box with UV-C emitters,” he said.
The box integrates type C ultraviolet ray emitting lamps — distributed Technical Industrial Sales — in a box with a drawer, to sterilize masks and medical equipment. This in turn helps to lower the expenses related to buying these equipments that are currently scarce in the face of this global pandemic, said García-Rivera.
As part of validating his idea, García-Rivera said he consulted with a doctor to find out his opinion on the idea, and in that conversation he confirmed the usefulness of making boxes with these lamps, high in germicidal UV-C energy to sterilize equipment.
“There are three types of ultraviolet rays that are produced by solar energy: UV-A that generates a long wave and is the one that reaches the earth every day; UV-B that sometimes passes through the ozone layer as a short wave; and UV-C, which is also a short wave, but is mostly absorbed by the ozone layer.
“UV-C technology has been used for the past 40 years to disinfect drinking water, sewage, pharmaceutical equipment, and general surfaces. UV-C emitters, in particular, the Steril-Aire brand, distributed by Technical Industrial, are certified under ISO — in accordance with international standards — and endorsed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,” he said.
Type C ultraviolet emitters release a wave that destroys the DNA of microorganisms, such as bacteria and viruses, so exposure to this light curbs the spread, García-Rivera said.
Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a new guide to decontamination methods for emergencies, including ultraviolet germicidal radiation, he said.
Furthermore, the manufacturer of N95 masks recently published that steam, hydrogen peroxide vapor, and UV-C radiation are the three effective methods to disinfect masks to make them reusable.
“This emergency that we’re experiencing forces us entrepreneurs to reinvent ourselves and look for new ways not only to continue with our businesses, but also to contribute to the organizations and companies that are in the first line of defense, which are the hospitals. This is why we will donate 10 of these UVC boxes to hospitals and nursing homes within two weeks,” he added.