Proceedings PaperInfrared laser effects on the eye: implications for safety and medical applications
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With the increasing use of both pulsed and CW lasers in the spectral region between 1100 nm and 3000 nm, biological research studies were performed in several laboratories to better define threshold effects. From this research both national committees (e.g., ANSI Z136 in the USA) and international committees (IEC TC76) have recommended increased occupational exposure limits (ELs) for lasers in this spectral region during the last year. Within the retinal hazard region, at wavelengths between 1200 and 1400 nm, ELs were increased by 8, and at wavelengths between 1400 nm and 2600 nm the ELs were raised as much as 100 times for short-pulse exposure, depending upon corneal penetration depth for each wavelength. The measuring aperture has also been modified so that some low-power optical-fiber diode laser sources are no longer considered potentially hazardous. Some of the research that led to these EL revisions also has implications for corneal refractive surgery.