Cypress, California (June 2020) — Ushio America, Inc. (Ushio) announced a strategic alliance with Acuity Brands, Inc. (NYSE:AYI) to supply the Care222® UV disinfection module. The filtered excimer lamps generate 222nm of far UV-C light capable of inactivating viruses and bacteria on indoor surfaces. Acuity Brands, a market leader in the development and manufacturing of lighting solutions and building management systems, plans to incorporate these lamps into a range of its products, including its ceiling and wall-mounted lighting fixtures that can operate in occupied or unoccupied spaces, to reduce pathogens. The agreement is exclusive to Acuity Brands for general illumination uses throughout North America. Acuity Brands also has non-exclusive rights to use the Care222 module worldwide (except Asia) for lighting and other uses.
Ushio’s Care222 lamp modules will be incorporated into Acuity Brands’ products , which are commonly installed in spaces such as office, classrooms, restaurants, retail stores, restrooms and other public facilities, and when used with Acuity Brands’ control systems, the modules will emit intermittent pulses of 222nm UV light to reduce pathogens on surfaces. The mercury-free Care222 excimer lamps produced by Ushio feature a specially designed short pass filter that is based on groundbreaking research and technology developed by Columbia University and filters the longer UV wavelengths from the lamp that are harmful to humans. The result is a narrow band 222nm wavelength of UV light that can inactivate viruses and bacteria, effectively preventing them from replicating.
Results from laboratory testing and clinical studies suggest that the filtered UV light emitted from the Care222 lamp can reduce pathogens on surfaces without posing a health risk to human skin or eyes when used within appropriate parameters. In contrast, possible acute and chronic damage to eyes and skin may result from the more generally employed 254nm UV wavelength used in many germicidal lamps, although this UV wavelength can be used in interior spaces under certain conditions that sharply limit human exposure. In addition, germicidal lamps that emit 254nm normally contain mercury, which can cause harmful side effects when inhaled or ingested in large amounts. Furthermore, although lamps in the 405-430nm wavelength range can also be used in occupied spaces, they are not as effective against viruses as lamps with lower-range UVC wavelengths.
“Ushio America, Inc. is pleased to partner with Acuity Brands to bring this powerful germicidal technology to customers in North America,” said Ushio President and CEO William Mackenzie. “With recent research suggesting that repetitive irradiation with 222nm UVC does not cause skin or eye damage, we are excited about Acuity Brands being able to integrate Care222 modules in their general lighting products to simultaneously illuminate and reduce pathogens on surfaces in occupied spaces."
“In recent years, it has become increasingly paramount to find new, safer methods of reducing pathogens on surfaces throughout the day,” said Acuity Brands Lighting Senior Vice President, Rick Earlywine. “We are excited about incorporating the Care222 UV light module into our lighting fixtures for use in both occupied and unoccupied spaces. Using this module in our leading lighting fixtures installed in a space represents a significant advancement in protecting public areas against bacteria and viruses.”
Acuity Brands is expected to introduce lighting fixtures featuring the Care222 module in late calendar 2020. For more information about the properties of 222nm UV light and Care222 excimer lamps, please see https://www.ushio.com/product/care222-mercury-free-far-uv-c-excimer/.
*All references to “disinfection” are referring generally to the reduction of pathogenic bioburden and are not intended to refer to any specific definition of the term as may be used for other purposes by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.