With increasing concerns about the growth of biofilms in damp settings such as water treatment; plumbing systems; and healthcare, including medical devices, the International Ultraviolet Association (IUVA), a nonprofit dedicated to the advancement of UV for public health and the environment, has established a new Biofilm Control Task Force. Biofilms refer to a combination of microorganisms and extracellular polymeric substances released by those microorganisms that adhere to surfaces. “Biofilms can provide shelter for pathogenic microorganisms, and as such present a human health hazard,” says Task Force Co-chair, Stephanie Gora, PhD, PEng York University. “UV promises to be a key technology for biofilm mitigation.
“Industry and academic research by members of the IUVA community and others has demonstrated that UV can inactivate bacteria in biofilms and mitigate the formation of biofilms,” says Richard Simons, Ph.D. MIET, AquiSense Technologies and Task Force Co-chair. “Many IUVA members have expressed interest in pursuing in-depth biofilm-related research and/or product development.”
The task force will provide a forum for reviewing and summarizing existing UV/biofilm research and development activities, evaluating the experimental methodologies that have been used in past studies, and identifying promising areas of future inquiry. “The IUVA is well-positioned to develop and disseminate the knowledge base and recommended testing methodologies required to support the development and deployment of high quality and effective UV/biofilm technologies,” says Prof. Gora.