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Impact of UV-C on Material Degradation Working Group

UV-C irradiation has been successfully implemented for decades for water purification. Recently, due to health concerns, the technology has witnessed a significant growth of interest for broader disinfection purposes. The demand for UV-C for disinfection has skyrocketed, and with that more questions are being asked related to unintended consequences which need to be addressed to support the further growth of UV-C technology. One of these concerns is the longer term impact of UV-C exposure on materials and potential degradation effects.

It is well documented that polymers break down over time during exposure from UV-A and UV-B irradiation. Fewer controlled studies have been published for the impact of UV-C irradiation as there has not been a significant need until now. Information is available but is scattered and difficult to correlate. For this reason, the IUVA has approved this task force with the intention to generate data on the effects of UV-C on various polymer materials and exposed under different UV-C light sources. A general framework of test protocols will be used to assess the impact on materials. The outcome of this task force could potentially be contributing to further standardization of test protocols.

Task Force Purpose

  1. Provide a shared understanding for the impacts of various UV-C disinfection technologies on polymeric materials through the development of meaningful scientific data.
  2. Develop testing protocols to establish a framework for standardizing UV-C exposure testing of polymeric materials.

Task Force Scope

  1. Polymeric materials which commonly encounter UV-C disinfection.
  2. UV-C disinfection technologies broadly used for surface disinfection.
  3. Analytical techniques which capture relevant changes to the materials.
  4. Round robin testing to evaluate consistency of results between different technologies.

Articles & Resources

Dr. Kyle O'Connor
Senor Scientist, Solvay
Task Force Leader

Jerry Eng
Global Director, Solvay
Task Force Co-Chair

Sophie Poelmans
Global Marketing Manager, Solvay

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