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David Sliney Balancing the Risk of Eye Irritation from UV-C with Infection from Bioaerosols Photochemistry and Photobiology 89

Article first published online: 15 JUN 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/php.12093

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The phototoxicity of UV-C radiation that is responsible for germicidal efficacy also is responsible for the annoying side effects, erythema and photokeratitis. Fortunately, these effects are acute, if they occur. The human exposure limits (ELs) (ACGIH) at the principal germicidal wavelength, 254 nm are based upon the most sensitive structure—the cornea. Large safety factors exist for erythema—and most importantly, for nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC). Guidelines for human exposure to UV-C must be applied intelligently in risk assessments so as not to limit germicidal efficacy in upper-room ultraviolet germicidal irradiation.

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