FDA warns against UV use for disinfection
In its Advisory 2020-2052, FDA director general Enrique Domingo noted that exposure to UV radiation could cause skin irritation and damage to the eyes.
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FDA warns against UV use for disinfection

Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - December 1, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned against the use of ultraviolet (UV) emitting devices to disinfect against COVID-19 as these could be harmful to health.

In its Advisory 2020-2052, FDA director general Enrique Domingo noted that exposure to UV radiation could cause skin irritation and damage to the eyes.

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

He added that exposure to UV-A or soft UV can result in skin aging, while contact with UV-C or disinfection lamps can lead to sunburns and eye injury (photo keratitis).

Exposure to UV-B (280 to 315 nm) can lead to sunburn, skin cancer and cataracts.

Under the FDA Act of 2009, the agency is mandated to regulate radiation devices such as UV emitting devices.

“The FDA strongly advises against the use of UV light for COVID-19 disinfection near or on human body parts,” Domingo stressed, noting that the UV devices such as lamps are now commonly being used in commercial centers, mass transit and other public places as a disinfectant against COVID-19.

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