FDA warns of adverse health effects of UV lamp exposure


THE Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday, November 27, 2020, warned the public anew of the adverse health effects of being exposed to ultraviolet (UV) emitting devices that are widely used as disinfection tools amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

In an advisory, the FDA said it is strongly against the use of UV lamps for disinfecting surfaces and items if it will result to human exposure.

“The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation (ICNIRP) does not recommend the use of UV lamps for consumers or personal use,” said the FDA.

“The FDA strongly advises against the use of UV light for Covid-19 disinfection near or on human body parts,” it added.

It noted how exposure to UV-A (100 to 280 nm) or soft UV can result to skin aging, while contact to UV-C (100 to 280 nm) or the disinfection lamps may lead to sunburns and eye injury (photokeratitis).

Exposure to UV-B (280 to 315 nm) may lead to sunburn, skin cancer, and cataracts, said the FDA.

FDA, through Republic Act 9711 or the FDA Act of 2009, is mandated to regulate radiation devices, such as UV emitting devices.

Instead of using UV lights or lamps, the FDA said it is strongly recommending adherence to established disinfection protocols against Covid-19.

“The public is advised to follow infection control protocols against Covid-19 from the Department of Health (DOH), like proper hand washing, coughing/sneezing etiquette, and social/physical distancing,” said the FDA. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)


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