Prospective of Germicidal Far UV-C in Face Masks and PPE
Asimananda Khandual1, Priyabrata Pattanaik2, Hara PrasadaTripathy2, J. Nibedita Rout2, Jinlian Hu3, William Holderbaum4 and Roshan Paul5
1Department of Textile Engineering, College of Engineering & Technology, 751030 - Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India; 2School of Electronics, ITER, S’O’A University, Bhubaneswar, India; 3Department of Biomedical Engineering, City University of Hong Kong, China; 4School of Biological Sciences, University of Reading, UK; 5Institut für Textiltechnik der RWTH Aachen University, 52074 - Aachen, Germany
Abstract: The global pandemic, COVID-19 has already created an awareness of the imprescindible use of face masks and personal protective equipment (PPE). Even though vaccines are already developed, a strong inclination and fear for protection and prevention would be urged for times to come. This is mainly because the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), and its new variants are here to stay and will not be fully eradicated any soon. We have now learned to live with it and habituated ourselves with social distancing, face masks, PPE, etc. Seemingly, the current physical protection protocol is not enough. Can we eliminate the virus in a short span before they reach inside and play games of life and death? Though ultraviolet emission, specifically UV-C in 200-280nm is an established technology for disinfection, direct exposure is hazardous to humans. Recent research on far UV-C seems (207-222nm) quite promising; they are much safer, efficiently germicidal even at a much lower intensity and exposure time. Can we retaliate now with functional wearables, face masks, and PPE? It’s an open challenge now for the material scientist.
Keywords: COVID-19, critical materials, fabric, fibre, functional, radiation effects, Far UV-C.