– look! This is a perfect example.
Jørn Klein points to the single elevator at the University of Southeast Norway in Drammen. It is full of students.
The professorship is usually located on the school’s campus in Porsgrunn. He is now in Drammen carrying out a potentially groundbreaking research project:
Is it true that using UV lamps can kill bacteria and viruses?
– In a very simplified way, we can say that the bacteria and viruses in this elevator will be inside a kind of microwave that will boil them to death, says Klein.
– He must be smarter
The goal of the project is to keep cruise ships and ferries safe from infection.
Klein highlights an example from the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic:
In July 2020, more than 70 people were injured on board the Hurtigruten vessel, M/S Roald Amundsen.
We must be smarter when the next pandemic comes. They require smarter solutions, like these bulbs.
The experiment in Drammen is part of a larger research project called Healthy Sailing. The entire project is funded by the European Union, at the request of the shipping industry.
The lamps will hang here for two months, before they go on a cruise ship in Greece.
According to the plan, they should have reliable test results in about five months.
These are USN elevators in which UV lights are installed.
Professionally, they are called far UVC lamps, which means short wave UV disinfectant lamps.
The three elevators (A, B, C) should be used in the experiment in different ways. The researchers will take daily air samples at the elevators, and compare the difference between the elevators.
Here, a UV light is turned on inside the elevator at all times of the day.
The light is not harmful to humans or animals, and it is powerful enough to kill bacteria and viruses.
There are no UV lights installed here.
This elevator is used as a control lever, to compare with the other two elevators.
A UV lamp with a motion sensor is installed here.
The light will only turn on when no one is in the elevator.
The researchers want to see if it also works when human exposure to UV lamps is avoided.
In addition to UV lamps, well-used touch surfaces should be covered with an antimicrobial material.
An example of these touch surfaces are the lift buttons and handles.
– interesting to us
Hurtigruten won’t say anything about whether tools like UV lamps can prevent outbreaks for nearly three years.
They noted that they already have strict infection control measures in place that could be put in place if something similar were to happen again.
– Infection control with us is just like what we know from an epidemic, and maybe even tougher, says Tarji Kramviken at Hurtigruten Norway.
However, they are positive about the project being carried out in the elevators at the University of Southeast Norway.
– “We’re interested in all the well-documented procedures that can reduce the likelihood of infection in the future,” says Kramviken.
Aspire to a lot
Back in Drammen, Jörn Klein continues talking about the lamps now in the elevators.
He repeats several times that these are not the same UV lamps that we find, for example, in a solarium.
– So he thought it wouldn’t be harmful for people to take the elevator to the school in Drammen.
He believes that it will not be the only shipping industry that will benefit from the project.
– We can use this information on hospital premises, among other things. Like, for example, at the new hospital here in Drammen, Klein says.
He hopes that new technology means workplaces can continue to operate during a pandemic or flu season, without people getting sick.
Dreaming that the next pandemic does not lead to drastic measures. We should be able to live an almost normal life.
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