In 2020, the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories at Boston University, tested the efficacy of Signify UV-C light sources against SAR-CoV-2. Test results revealed that light sources irradiating the surface of a material inoculated with the virus, reduced it to below detectable levels in as little as 9 seconds for the dried virus and 4 seconds for the wet virus.2
As UV-C light is a powerful disinfectant, it’s important that people, animals, and plants are not directly exposed to the light source as it can harm their skin and eyes, and the leaves of plants. This is not an issue with the pods as the disinfection cycle occurs only when the pod is empty of people and the door closed. On the other hand, the glass walls of the pods contain the UV-C rays within the pod, impeding exposure for people, animals and plants located outside of the pods during the disinfection cycle.
Sundström explained the safety features: “The pod door has a sensor built in and when the door closes, two sensors operate to detect presence in the room. If no presence is detected, after five minutes the air conditioning and lights turn off. The system then waits another half a minute before the UV-C lights switch on. If the door opens or any presence is detected, the UV-C lights turn off. Also, the sensors talk with each other and if one of them fails, the UV-C lights won’t switch on.”