Construction and validation of an ultraviolet germicidal irradiation system using locally available components

Eric Schnell, Elham Karamooz, Melanie J. Harriff, Jane E. Yates, Christopher Pfeiffer, Stephen M. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus, is responsible for a global pandemic characterized by high transmissibility and morbidity. Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at risk of contracting COVID-19, but this risk has been mitigated through the use of personal protective equipment such as N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators (FFRs). At times the high demand for FFRs has exceeded supply, placing HCWs at increased exposure risk. Effective FFR decontamination of many FFR models using ultraviolet-C germicidal irradiation (UVGI) has been well-described, and could maintain respiratory protection for HCWs in the face of supply line shortages. Here, we detail the construction of an ultraviolet-C germicidal irradiation (UVGI) device using previously existing components available at our institution. We provide data on UV-C dosage delivered with our version of this device, provide information on how users can validate the UV-C dose delivered in similarly constructed systems, and describe a simple, novel methodology to test its germicidal effectiveness using in-house reagents and equipment. As similar components are readily available in many hospitals and industrial facilities, we provide recommendations on the local construction of these systems, as well as guidance and strategies towards successful institutional implementation of FFR decontamination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0255123
JournalPloS one
Issue numberJuly
StatePublished - Jul 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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