Far-UVC light is a type of ultraviolet light that kills microbes and viruses and, crucially, seems to be safe to use around humans. Radiation scientist David Brenner describes how we could use this light to stop the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, in hospitals, nursing homes, trains and other public indoor spaces — paving the way for a potentially game-changing tool in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. (This virtual conversation, hosted by TED science curator David Biello, was recorded July 7, 2020.)
Over the past eight years, Brenner and his team have been developing the use of a unique type of ultraviolet light, called far-UVC light, designed to safely kill viruses such as the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, as well as drug-resistant bacteria.
David Brenner directs the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City and has numerous distinctions within his field, such as the Oxford University Weldon Prize and the Radiation Research Society Failla Gold Medal Award. Founded by a student of Marie Curie more than a century ago, the Columbia Center for Radiological Research is committed to exploiting all forms of radiation to improve human health and medical care.