(CNN)Donald Milton tests people for colds and flu in his lab at the University of Maryland. Among other experiments, his students use a “sneeze machine” to measure how far viruses fly out of the nose and mouth when people sneeze, cough, talk or just breathe. It means a parade of students infected with a variety of contagious diseases coming through.So installed in the ceilings of some of the offices are germ-killing ultraviolet-C lamps. High above where people circulate, the lamps emit ultraviolet light that, given some time, can kill bacteria and fungi and break apart viruses.It’s become fairly standard technology in hospitals, clinics and other places where germs could be in the air. They only work if the air is circulating enough to carry the germs up to the level of the lamps, and then bring this disinfected air back down to where people are breathing.And they must stay up high because to kill germs, the lamps must emit so much UV light that it would be irritating to people, especially their eyes.”When we use it for surface decontamination, we make sure no one is in the room,” Milton said in an interview with CNN. “And when we use it


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