Source: Promo | Tuesday, 09.03.2021.| 11:03
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Football Scores Against COVID-19 – UV-C in Sports

(Photo: Signify)
Walk into a dressing room at half-time and you’ll find players sat next to each other, sweaty and breathing hard. This is precisely the type of environment a virus thrives in.

In this age of empty stadiums, the emphasis is on keeping players and coaching staff safe from the virus that causes COVID-19. Not surprisingly, regular testing, masks, social distancing and hand sanitation have become the norm.

Now, some of the most forward-thinking football clubs are turning to Ultraviolet-C (UV-C) technology to provide an extra layer of protection in the fight against the virus. UV-C lighting is proving vital in the ongoing battle to keep clubs functioning and fixtures playable, helping to protect staff and players during these uncertain times.

Light to inactivate the virus

UV-C light at the wavelength of 254 nm is proven to be a highly effective disinfectant. In fact, it is so effective that tests done on a Signify UV-C light source at Boston University, revealed that after just 9 seconds the virus causing COVID-19 was found to be below detectable levels.

Times for inactivating the virus, by breaking down its DNA/RNA, vary depending on the strength of the light source and its proximity to the contaminated surface. The power of UV-C is such that people or animals should not be exposed to the light source as it could harm their skin and eyes.
(Photo: Signify)

So how could a football stadium make use of the technology?

Let’s get back to that sweaty half-time dressing room. A major transmission risk comes from airborne particles, making air disinfection paramount. UV-C disinfection upper air luminaires can be fitted to ceilings and walls. Such fixtures, which must be installed well above the heads of players and coaching staff, use shielding to prevent exposure to the light source, which means that they are suitable for operation with people in the room. Air in the upper level of the room travels through a disinfection zone and pure, disinfected air is circulated back to the lower levels of a room through natural or mechanical convection.

The Red Bull Arena, home to RB Leipzig, recently got a total lighting makeover. Signify lit the pitch, hospitality suites, fan shop and facade. At the same time, it installed Philips UV-C disinfection upper air luminaires in the home and away dressing rooms.

The same kind of luminaires can be found in the dressing rooms of the Philips Stadion, home to the 24-times winner of the Dutch Eredivisie, PSV Eindhoven. Dressing rooms in its training facilities and medical facility will also boast the groundbreaking technology.
(Photo: Signify)

When dressing rooms and other indoor parts of a stadium are empty of people, stadium owners can bring in UV-C trolleys and activate them remotely to disinfect surfaces. Elsewhere, UV-C chambers, which look and operate like a microwave oven, could be used to disinfect objects such as keys and walkie-talkies.

UV-C in a post-vaccine world

Even after the COVID-19 vaccine has been rolled out there is a strong case for UV-C lighting. This is because UV-C is proven to be effective against all viruses, bacteria and mold spores that have been tested in scientific studies. All viruses tested to date, including seasonal flu, can be inactivated by UV-C light.

Recently, Reimagine Football presented an award to Signify for its efforts with UV-C lighting. Its upper air luminaires were recognized as one of the best innovative ideas for stadium operations.

It’s not just football teams that can benefit from this technology. UV-C disinfection upper air systems are being used in a number of high contact environments including supermarkets and offices.

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is the need to take measures to keep people safe. From soccer players to shoppers, UV-C can help do this.
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