The What: Christie has launched the CounterAct line of commercial UV disinfection products with Care222 far-UVC light technology. The Christie fixture uses Ushio’s patented narrowband filtered Care222 excimer lamps that emit far-UVC 222nm light—the only UV technology shown to continuously and significantly reduce pathogens, like coronaviruses, that may also be used while people are present, when used in accordance with specified parameters. Mass production of the new Christie CounterAct fixture starts in January 2021.
The What Else: Developed by Christie’s parent company, Ushio Inc., based on technology licensed from Columbia University, the Care222 far-UVC, mercury-free excimer lamp includes a proprietary short-pass filter that prevents the emission of longer wavelengths of UV light (230nm and higher) that are capable of penetrating human skin and eyes, an especially important feature that other 222nm and far-UVC products do not have.
The first Christie CounterAct fixture contains two Care222 excimer far-UVC lamps that reduce pathogens on surfaces of any indoor space. The fixture, with fast instant on/off at full output power and its Care222 technology lamps, has been shown effective at reducing pathogens in laboratory tests. Unlike other UV technology, these fixtures with patented Care222 lamps may be used when people are present.
It has been known for many years that UV light is a highly effective disinfectant that can reduce pathogens in indoor spaces. Businesses and other institutions have long used germicidal UVC light to stop the spread of viruses. The main drawback with most UVC technology is that it uses a 254nm wavelength that can penetrate human skin and eyes, which means these germicidal lights can only be used when people are not present or while they’re wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) that protects the eyes and skin. These shortcomings constrain how these devices must be operated and limit their widespread use in occupied indoor spaces.
A study conducted by Kobe University published in August 2020 concludes that, due to its shorter wavelength, far-UVC 222nm light does not penetrate the skin and therefore may be used when humans are present. Another recent study published in the American Journal of Infection Control shows that far-UVC 222nm light can effectively reduce more than 99.7 percent of surface contamination of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19.
Researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center have also tested far-UVC 222nm light, and in particular its effect on aerosolized seasonal coronaviruses (that cause the common cold). A scientific paper published by this group in the journal Nature in June 2020 found that 99.9 percent of aerosolized seasonal coronaviruses (the cause of the common cold) were inactivated when exposed to far-UVC 222nm light in just 25 minutes.
These studies’ findings suggest that the filtered 222nm far-UVC light emitted by Care222 lamps in Christie’s CounterAct fixture, which can operate continuously even when people are present, offers a significant improvement over traditional manual cleaning alone, which requires professional cleaners, and the repeated use of harsh chemicals, in which the results are temporary.
“People are essential to the entertainment industry, and their level of comfort in public venues is paramount to the industry’s success,” said Zoran Veselic, president and COO, Christie. “We are very proud to be able to offer this product with Ushio’s Care222 technology to our partners, and we are excited about the possibilities the technology will have in bringing customers back to the places they love, such as movie theaters and theme parks. The fact that far-UVC light—specifically, our new Christie CounterAct far-UVC fixture—can be used in the presence of people is a real differentiating factor. By harnessing these benefits as part of a user-friendly product that can be quickly deployed, we hope to provide a much-needed boost to our partners across the entertainment industry who are currently struggling to attract wary customers.”
The Bottom Line: Christie CounterAct is a line of fixtures that can be controlled remotely and can be installed on ceilings like a commercial lighting fixture. It is well suited for use across a wide range of occupied, commercial areas such as entertainment venues, including lobbies, auditoriums, and restrooms, as well as other indoor spaces.