Laser Safety

Discussion in 'Laser Safety' started by Dreamlasers_wu, Nov 2, 2005.

  1. Dreamlasers_wu

    Dreamlasers_wu New Member

    Direct eye contact with the output beam from the laser will cause serious damage and possible blindness.

    The safe use of lasers requires that all laser users, and everyone near the laser system, are aware of the dangers involved. The safe use of the laser depends upon the user being familiar with the instrument and the characteristics of laser light.

    If the laser beam is reflected or scattered from various objects, it is very dangerous. Avoid physical contact with the laser beam. The high spectral intensity and short wavelength may cause tissue damage which is not immediately evident.

    Do not permit any reflective object in the path of the beam. Scattering the beam from a reflective surface can be very damaging to the eyes or skin.

    Block the beam when not in use.

    Turn the beam off, preventing stray reflections from occurring either between experiments or when moving the laser.

    If possible, have an enclosed path for the laser beam.

    Always point the laser at a specific target, such as a power meter.

    Limit access to the laser to qualified users who are familiar with laser safety practices and who are aware of the dangers involved.

    Post warning signs indicating the laser is being used.

    Never point the laser beam at anyone's' eyes.

    CDRH (Center for Devices & Radiological Health)

    A department of the United States Food and Drug Administration, the Center for Devices and Radiological Health establishes the safety regulations and requirements governing the manufacture of lasers and laser devices within the United States, along with many other responsibilities.

    :cool: :)
  2. Pangolin

    Pangolin Staff Member

    All of the recommendations above are good generic recommendations. However, there are situations where the direct access to the laser beam both by skin and by eye can be safe, and even enjoyable, as long as the laser power and exposure duration are appropriate. I am referring to the practice of Audience Scanning, which is a somewhat common practice in many parts of the world.

    Pangolin has produced several articles on how to do audience scanning safely, and you can find the main article here:

    You can also find a thesis from John O'Hagan (UK National Radiological Protection Board) about audience scanning here:

    I will point out that there are other intentional exposures of a laser that are safe and beneficial. Most recently there is a company that is producing a "Laser Hair Brush". This is approved for use, even in the United States. The manufacturer claims that it stimulates hair growth and they have some evidence to back up the claims.

    Best regards,

    William Benner
    Pangolin Laser Systems
    Sergio Barberi likes this.