Editor’s comment on antimicrobial-light article discussion

Feb. 4, 2022
Our managing editor addresses feedback regarding a recently published article on market messaging surrounding light-based disinfection technologies.

Since the January/February issue of LEDs Magazine posted this past week, our editorial team has received or seen comments about the article "Confusion about disinfection light can be dangerous for people and detrimental to the SSL industry," authored by Colleen Costello, CEO of disinfection-lighting provider Vyv. I did reply to a LinkedIn post regarding this article, but I’d like to expand upon that here. LinkedIn has a character limit and on our website we have no such boundaries. You can view the LinkedIn post in a new window.

Commenters expressed concern about author bias against ultraviolet (UV) disinfection technology in the aforementioned feature article due to the fact that Vyv is a provider of 405-nm antimicrobial light technology. My response is that it is not the magazine’s policy to turn away compelling content that we determine is organized and informed because the author(s) manufacture a product or supply a service. This is B2B media and the majority of our content is from experts in their respective areas of the LED and solid-state lighting (SSL) design and supply chain. We of course do our best to ensure that the content is written to inform and not to sell.

LEDs and its contributors, webcast presenters, and affiliated event speakers have covered UV technology for disinfection applications for more than a year — and several of the recent comments were from individuals at organizations that develop UV-based technologies.

One commenter stated their concern that the article implied 405-nm antimicrobial lighting systems were capable of deactivating SARS-CoV-2 in the air. In the article, Costello does not tie 405-nm light to deactivating SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 or air disinfection; describe it as an instantaneous disinfection solution; or identify it as the singular antimicrobial solution to eradicate all pathogens that may contaminate an environment.

Another comment noted that the author had initially referenced an outdated International Ultraviolet Association paper when referring to research findings on far UV-C (222-nm) technology and its potential risks to humans. Costello has since amended her references, citing sources that indicate that the studies investigating far UV-C dosage and photobiological risk/hazard correlations have not yet been expanded to deliver clear guidance on appropriate exposure levels of 222-nm radiation across both human skin and eyes. Other industry researchers have said there may be a place for far UV-C, but the technology roadmap and the exposure guidance are not yet clearly defined. This is not indicative of a moratorium on far UV-C.

We do publish information about emerging commercial technologies even if the industry continues to debate what may prevail on the market or what is perceived to be optimal for specific applications. Indeed, multiple methods and factors may be involved in improving public health with advances in LED technology.

We encourage discussion and debate on the content we publish via LEDs Magazine, and welcome others to propose and contribute articles that expand the knowledge base for the purpose of pursuing responsible commercial business in the LED and SSL industry.

CARRIE MEADOWS is managing editor of LEDs Magazine, with 20 years’ experience in business-to-business publishing across technology markets including solid-state technology manufacturing, fiberoptic communications, machine vision, lasers and photonics, and LEDs and lighting.

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About the Author

Carrie Meadows | Editor-in-Chief, LEDs Magazine

Carrie Meadows has more than 20 years of experience in the publishing and media industry. She worked with the PennWell Technology Group for more than 17 years, having been part of the editorial staff at Solid State Technology, Microlithography World, Lightwave, Portable Design, CleanRooms, Laser Focus World, and Vision Systems Design before the group was acquired by current parent company Endeavor Business Media.

Meadows has received finalist recognition for LEDs Magazine in the FOLIO Eddie Awards, and has volunteered as a judge on several B2B editorial awards committees. She received a BA in English literature from Saint Anselm College, and earned thesis honors in the college's Geisel Library. Without the patience to sit down and write a book of her own, she has gladly undertaken the role of editor for the writings of friends and family.

Meadows enjoys living in the beautiful but sometimes unpredictable four seasons of the New England region, volunteering with an animal shelter, reading (of course), and walking with friends and extended "dog family" in her spare time.


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April 24, 2018