IUVA Healthcare/UV Working Group
Professor Yongheng Huang and Troy Cowan,

IUVA’s Healthcare/UV Working Group was invited by a representative of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee 142 to attend its 15th Plenary Meeting at ASHRAE headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, in late September.

Professor Yongheng Huang, convener of the ISO/TC142/WG2 (cleaning equipment for air and other gases/UV-C technology) invited the group after learning about its efficacy standards initiative. Huang reached out in hopes that IUVA and ISO/TC142 could work to promote the standardized application of UV disinfection in the health field of air disinfection, an ISO priority focus.

ISO LogoFocused on “Standards: the world’s common language,” ISO is an independent, nongovernmental international organization that manages a global network of standards-making bodies (members) across 164 countries.

Each member is identified by ISO as the foremost standards organization in their respective country, with only one member per country. In the US, the designated national standard-making body is the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Table 1. ISO/TC142 member countries and their standards organizations (www.iso.org/ committee/52624.html)

As one of ISO’s more than 300 technical committees, ISO/TC142 is charged with managing ISO standards covering “Cleaning Equipment for Air and Other Gases.” There are 20 full participating members on ISO/TC142 (see Table 1). These members influence ISO standards development and strategy by participating and voting in ISO technical and policy meetings. Within ISO/TC 142, there are now 12 working groups.

Working Group 2 (WG2), led by Huang, is responsible for the formulation of methods and standards for UV application in air disinfection and purification.

At Huang’s request, IUVA’s Healthcare/UV Working Group briefed the ISO/TC142/WG2 panel on IUVA as an organization, on its Healthcare/UV Working Group and on its efficacy standards initiative specifically.

Efforts were addressed around the need to have one standardized set of inactivation dosage values for specific pathogens at particular UV wavelengths of interest. The presentation was well received and resulted in ISO/TC142/WG2 recommending a new proposed ISO work item to address the need for a standard on “Measuring UV Dose Required to Inactivate Selected Microorganisms Using Different UV Wavelengths.”

The proposed recommendation was discussed with ISO/TC142’s chairman, Riccardo Romanò, and the manager and secretariat, Anna Martino. It was agreed that the recommendation would be presented to the next day’s Plenary Session for consideration.

Additionally, as not all the other ISO/TC-142 members were familiar with the IUVA or its current efforts, Martino suggested that a short introductory presentation on IUVA could prove beneficial to both the ISO members and IUVA.

During the Plenary Session, both the recommendation and an introduction to IUVA were presented and well received. Several questions were entertained about the proposed testing protocols and some concerns expressed about how the biological aspects would be handled.

The overall sense of the floor seemed positive toward the recommendation, but considering the opportunity to have a better understanding, it was agreed to prepare a more detailed presentation of the proposal to be submitted in the near future.

During the session, several commented on how much they appreciated IUVA’s input and the value its UV technical expertise would bring to future deliberations. Representatives then discussed the possibility of having IUVA apply to be a liaison organization, enabling IUVA to work with ISO/TC142 as a technical resource.

ISO/TC142 already has three such liaison organizations, including the International Commission on Illumination, which also is liaison to at least 30 other ISO technical committees.

The option of becoming a liaison organization was presented to the IUVA Board of Directors in early November. The board, noting that the working group is about to convert to an IUVA task force, urged that the liaison application process be incorporated into the new task force’s proposed deliverables and budget request, to be reviewed and approved by the executive committee and the board. If approved, it then can apply to ISO/TC142, as proposed.

Why is this important? Having IUVA board backing on this next step is essential to being credible when its application is reviewed by the ISO/TC142 members.

Table 2. ISO list of healthcare/UV-related technical committees (www.iso.org/technical-committees.html)

If then approved by ISO/TC142, IUVA will begin working within ISO, giving its new task force and IUVA insights into multiple regulatory areas impacting and being impacted by UV technologies. Just related to healthcare alone, a dozen ISO technical committees that IUVA could impact have been identified (see Table 2).

The IUVA Healthcare/UV Working Group extends its thanks to Huang for his invitation and acting on his belief that through cooperation ISO/TC142 and IUVA can jointly develop international standards for UV disinfection and make active efforts to promote the science, engineering and application of UV technology.

Bottom line: The IUVA Healthcare/UV Working Group (task force) will be working on informing more ISO representatives about IUVA’s work in healthcare and in their respective countries. Providing IUVA information and expertise to the ISO members will help expand IUVA’s sphere of influence while enhancing overall membership.

Through the IUVA Healthcare/UV Working Group, endeavors are being made to promote the acceptance of UV disinfecting technologies as a credible, valued part of environmental management throughout the healthcare industry. In this column, the UV community will be updated on these efforts and the latest information on UV technology as it pertains to the healthcare industry.

Contact: Troy Cowan director, Vision Based Consulting troy@visionbasedconsulting.us