Researchers from Germany have demonstrated that ozone-based decontamination device can significantly reduce the volume of viral residue left on the surfaces of two surrogate viruses for SARS-CoV-2. Ozone is a volatile and unstable molecule comprised of three oxygen atoms found in trace amounts naturally in the Earth’s atmosphere.
Due to its reactive tendencies, it has been found to be highly effective in killing viruses, bacteria, fungi, and other pathogens. The researchers contaminated the surfaces with two SARS-CoV-2 analogs pseudomonas virus phi6 Φ6 (phi 6) and bovine coronavirus 30 L9 (BCoV). Samples of both surrogate viruses were exposed to several common surfaces found in hospitals; ceramic tiles, stainless steel carriers, and furniture boards. These surfaces were kept in a 6 m3 air-tight room with a shelf.
The samples were then exposed to an ozone-based device for automated room disinfection: the STERISAFETM Pro. This device releases ozone into a room, which then should destroy any pathogens dwelling on surfaces and subsequently break up the ozone back into diatomic oxygen and purified air. The authors conclude that ozone room disinfection systems would provide an additional efficient and safe method for decontaminating hospital equipment.