NEW YORK - A new laboratory study has shown that ultraviolet (UV) light can effectively kill the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus, according to FP Technologies. The company, an engineering firm that uses UV radiation to sterilize air and surfaces, designed the SARS testing. Tests were performed at ZeptoMetrix Inc., a biotechnology lab.

In this first round of testing, FP Technologies said that the SARS virus is killed following exposure to brief intense UV radiation. This is believed to be the first known laboratory evidence indicating the efficacy of UV against SARS.

Peter Bjorkman, president of FP Technologies, says more testing is underway. "Now that we have verified that UV kills SARS, we need to determine specific exposure times and intensities so that we can effectively implement this technology and protect people worldwide.

"In 2003, SARS infected 8,098 people according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Seven hundred forty-four of those who were infected by the virus died. Another outbreak of SARS was reported in China in April of 2004, infecting nine people and killing one."

FP Technologies designs and installs the VIGILAIRâ„¢ system, which combines ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI), filtration, and reflective materials to purify air as it passes through the HVAC system of a building.

Previously, FP Technologies says it has tested and shown the effectiveness of UVGI against Bacillus anthracis spores (anthrax), E. coli O157:H7, and salmonella. Currently, its VIGILAIR systems are being used to protect hospitals, government buildings, and financial institutions, says the company.

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Publication date: 08/16/2004