Originally published by NBC Washington
A Northern Virginia business is testing state-of-the-art self-cleaning technology in its office to prepare for a safer work environment once stay-at-home orders are lifted.
Christian Pinkston works for a digital marketing firm in Falls Church where he employs about 40 people. The office is testing a form of ultraviolet light called far UVC, which is a portal that looks like a metal detector. The portal kills any bacteria on the surface of the body as an individual walks through.
Pinkston said he didn’t know these types of technologies existed before, but feels confident that his workers will be much safer upon their return.
“So we found four technologies that we feel like are going to be game changers for businesses and anywhere that people congregate,” Pinkston said.
In addition to installing the far UVC portal at the entrance, other UVC lights are being installed in other places inside the office. Sprayers are also spreading a chemical coating over surfaces that claims to kill bacteria for up to a year. And air quality control units will constantly test for airborne pathogens.
Pinkston said outfitting the 16,000 square feet of office space with this technology cost about $3 per square foot.
“For us, it was totally worth it to be able to guarantee the safest possible environment for our team,” Pinkston said.
Researchers at Columbia University are testing similar technology, and just this week, the researchers announced their initial tests are successfully killing the coronavirus with far UVC light. The researchers claim exposure to this light is safe for humans.
Far UVC lights have not been approved by the FDA or the EPA.