VESTAL (WBNG) -- The future of disinfecting could be as simple as a flip of a switch.
Researchers in the Biomedical Engineering Department at Binghamton University studied how a certain type of ultraviolet light, UV-C, can kill viruses like coronavirus.
They say in just 15-20 minutes, the lights can eradicate coronavirus on surfaces and in the air.
UHS is already taking advantage of BU's research. A spokesperson for the hospital says they're using the lights to sterilize already used N95 masks. While UHS hasn't had a need to use reprocessed masks yet, these serve as a backup supply.
Outside of hospitals, researchers say the UV lights can help disinfect spaces across the Southern Tier.
"If the air is circulating containing the virus you can simply turn on the UV lights and the virus can be killed within several minutes," said Biomedical Engineering Professor at Binghamton University Kaiming Ye.
Ye says the lights should only be used when people aren't in the room, as they can be harmful to our eyes.