Would you be ready to inhale UV gas against coronavirus?

Russian researchers say they have developed an “inhaling gas” that emits UV rays inside the body to kill the Covid-19 virus. An idea which is based on serious scientific foundations but which is far from being feasible as it stands.

The idea seems to come straight out of Donald Trump’s brain . ”  Suppose we take the light very powerful ultraviolet or inside the body, for example by passing through the skin or by other means, it has the look interesting ,” had then questioned President during a press conference on April 23, also suggesting injecting disinfectant to kill the coronavirus from the inside “like a cleaning”.

We select molecules and gaseous components that emit ultraviolet light directly into the lungs

This a priori eccentric idea  is however taken very seriously by the Russians, who plan to develop a technique called ” light gas ” and consisting in inhaling gas emitting ultraviolet rays which would kill the virus in the body. In an interview with  Country Rosatom , the newsletter of the Russian nuclear agency, the president of the Institute of Physics and Energy Engineering (IPPE) Andrei Goverdovsky explains that researchers are currently working on different methods to fight the virus including that of bright gas. “

So far, no one has successfully developed UV disinfection inside the body ,” says Goverdovsky. We have figured out how to do it: we select molecules and gaseous components that, when inhaled, remain active and emit ultraviolet light directly into the lungs . In addition to the coronavirus, our method could be used to treat tuberculosis , oncology and other diseases,  “he said, without giving further details.

Light gases and UV lamps: already a reality

Despite the eccentric appearance of the project, there are scientific bases for this principle. Several gases, such as mercury or hydrogen , have the ability to emit UV when they are excited. This is also the principle of fluorescent tubes , which are filled with mercury in the gaseous state and whose ionized atoms emit UV under the effect of an electric current . But it is certainly not the mercury that the PEI researchers are thinking about, the latter being highly toxic. Either way, you need a source of energy to excite the gas anyway .

Second, UV rays are very effective in killing viruses and unlike chemicals, they do not cause pollution. The ultraviolet lamps are also widely used in the disinfection of public places, such as hospitals, schools or trainsets . The catch is that UV rays are harmful to the skin and the eyes and therefore cannot be used in the presence of humans.