Daytona Beach firm developing wearable UV device that fends off COVID-19 virus

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8619's device uses UV technology proven in Columbia, Penn State research studies

While much of the medical research world has been focused on finding a vaccine and other short-term pharmaceuticals to use against the COVID-19 pandemic, a Daytona Beach firm, 8619, is targeting scientific technology to prevent people from contracting the coronavirus.

The company is developing a wearable UV germicide irradiation device using far-UVC light technology. The company says the product, dubbed the “DEFENDER,” is designed to eradicate airborne viruses before the pathogens can enter the human body and infect an individual.

“The DEFENDER is based on currently applied physics,” said 8619 founder K. H. Lamkin. He said studies at both Columbia University in New York City and Penn State University that pre-date COVID-19 have taken on new relevance in recent months.

He said 8619’s DEFENDER technology disrupts COVID-19’s DNA and RNA processes, inactivating micro-organisms and making it impossible for the virus to replicate or infect human cells.

Dr. David Brenner at Columbia University, professor of radiation biophysics and director of the school’s Center for Radiological Research, studied using UVC light to fight viruses for years.

Dr. Brenner’s findings indicate that far-UVC light, in a 222 nm (nanometers) wavelength, destroys airborne viruses while being safe for humans and is a critical tool in the battle against COVID-19 and other viruses.

“Far-UVC light has the potential to be a game-changer,” said Dr. Brenner. “It can be safely used in occupied public spaces, and it kills pathogens in the air before we can breathe them in. Far-UVC takes a fundamentally different tactic in the war against COVID-19. Most approaches focus on fighting the virus once it has gotten into the body. Far-UVC is one of the very few approaches that have the potential to prevent the spread of viruses before they enter the body,” he added.

His research indicates the use of overhead far-UVC light in hospitals, schools, airports, airplanes, transit stations and vehicles, and other public places could provide a powerful check on the transmission of COVID-19.

Dr. Brenner recently consulted with New York’s Metropolitan Transit Agency (MTA), which plans to install far-UVC lighting on trains and buses.

The Magnolia Bakery in New York City plans to install far-UVC lighting at two of its New York locations.

Researchers at Penn State, the University of Minnesota, Germany’s Ferdinand Braun Institut, the Technical University of Berlin, and two Japanese universities, are currently testing the safety and efficiency of far-UVC light with humans.

Although the science behind germicidal UV has been around for decades, the Centers for Disease Control and FEMA only started to recommend the use of UV light in hospitals over the past 10-15 years.

8619’s wearable DEFENDER is projected to be available to the public during the fourth quarter of this year.

About 8619.org

8619 was founded to further develop existing technology and science to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For more information visit the company’s website at http://www.8619.org.

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David Fierro

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