Saturday 25 July 2020

Using a UV Lamp for Covid-19 Sterilisation in Self-Catering Holiday Home

We've just placed an order for some Ultraviolet (UV-C) dosimeter labels. It took a lot of research to find the best labels for the job. These labels progressively and consistently change colour according to the amount of Ultraviolet light  (UV-C) exposure. After some dosage calibration using our UV-C meter and lamp we'll be able to easily assess whether the correct dose of ultraviolet light has been given to kill off the Covid-19 virus in the rooms of our holiday cottage.

We'll take a photo of the exposed label after room treatment to record that a suitable dose of UV-C light has been given during the cleaning process. This photo will be incorporated in the formal documentation of the cleaning process. Whilst this label adds slightly to the cost of the process, it will add comfort to guests' concerns about cleaning and will give evidence of good processes in the unlikely event of a dispute.

In our case, testing shows that in terms of effective destruction of virus and bacteria, an exposed light green label (centre of third row in the picture) is a reasonable indicator of 99.99% inactivation/destruction (40 mJ/Sq Cm). Some types of coronavirus take far less exposure to UV-C. Do remember that some computer displays render colours differently. For our purposes we print comparison samples on colour printers using a CMYK colour scheme.

There is also a Health and Safety aspect of limiting the exposure which we discuss here. Using the dosimeter labels can help avoid excessive doses, but good procedures, correct PPE and supporting usage of a UV-C meter is more reliable. Any member of our team not equipped with full PPE will be provided with a UV-C dosimeter badge to wear when the UV-lamp is in operation. In terms of the above labels picture, we regard the second label in the second row as a maximum permitted dose, though in practice we avoid any direct exposure to UV-C.

We can also offer help and advice to other owners of cottages in the locality.

Edit 4th Aug 2020:

Yesterday we found a flyer pushed through the front door of the cottage from a company offering cleaning of premises to give a safe environment. It is the same company who advocate using agricultural biocides for fogging the interior of premises. These chemicals are designated for fumigating barns and cattle sheds.  We don't think we'll be using their services.

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