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MRD Lighting is Developing Ultraviolet Lighting Prototypes to Counter Shipboard Viruses

New York-based MRD Lighting, a major vendor to the international cruise industry, is developing ultraviolet lighting prototypes to combat airborne and surface-transmitted viruses aboard ships.

The company, which has consistently innovated in providing a wide array of solutions to cruise lines, is working with subject matter experts in the radiological and epidemiology arenas to provide rapid-response capabilities as the Coronavirus increasingly impacts the cruise industry.

“We have been expanding our capabilities and roles as a full-service lighting company,” said MRD founder and CEO Mike Riotto. “This approach to countering shipboard viruses sprang from our ongoing work to introduce greater health and wellness offerings aboard commercial vessels. We are committed to providing flexible and integrated solutions to our clients, especially during times of urgent need.”

Ultraviolet technology has long been used in various settings to kill bacteria and viruses, including hospitals, water treatment plants, and food preparation facilities. However, because some forms are harmful to mammals, its application has been limited. With recent advancements in UVC technology, combined with onboard safety sensors and data feedback, shipowners will be able to mitigate safety concerns while analyzing the duration and location of sanitization utilizing MRD’s proposed solutions.

“This is not a new idea, but what we bring to the table is a large experience base in prototyping, refining, and scaling production of systems tailored for specific spaces and uses,” said Riotto. “Our existing relationships in the cruise industry are significant. We want to add UVC technology to our offerings.”

Through various studies, research has shown that UVC light (200-280 nanometers) efficiently inactivates bacteria, viruses, mold and fungi. This is because ultraviolet light at this wavelength causes photochemical reactions in DNA and RNA, resulting in the inactivation of microbes and triggers lethal mutations that prevent them from reproducing properly. As such, MRD is looking to provide UVC light disinfection to cruise lines while maintaining the architectural aesthetics of a space, a core mission the company has strived for and achieved throughout its lifetime.

MRD has already contacted senior cruise industry executives with this concept and there is significant attention being paid to how UVC lighting fixtures can be deployed widely and cost-effectively throughout vessels.

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