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This is an excerpt from a member-only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe.

NIOSH questions one method of UV infection control

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October 1, 2009

Ultraviolet-C light, when pointed straight down into a surgical site for infection control purposes, can cause skin and eye problems for employees when personal protective equipment (PPE) is not used properly—which is a difficult proposition at best, says a report published by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

This concern prompted NIOSH to investigate ultraviolet-C (UV-C) light use at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. UV-C refers to a band of light wavelength.

While some of the report’s findings seem damning for UV-C as a technology, the study’s co-author, Dave Sylvain, MS, CIH, points out that this was an unusual application of the light.

Ultraviolet-C light, when pointed straight down into a surgical site for infection control purposes, can cause skin and eye problems for employees when personal protective equipment (PPE) is not used properly—which is a difficult proposition at best, says a report published by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).



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