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Proceedings Paper

Biophysical and medical safety basis of laser emission
Author(s): Yu. Paltsev; A. Levina
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Paper Abstract

Laser equipment may inflict serious losses to human health if safety norms established by relevant standards and other documentation are not properly observed. It is explained by physical properties of laser emission (LE) which differs from general light sources by quantitative behavior of such parameters as the degrees of coherence, monochromaticity, brightness, polarization. Thus, biological effects due to laser emission, as a rule, are more expressed comparing with other types of emission from other spontaneous light sources. LE effects biological tissues through the density of energy flow and impulse duration. It is common knowledge nowadays that LE biological action is assessed by two criteria: physical parameters and absorptive properties of tissues exposed to rays. LE causes the greatest danger to the eyes due to their specific structure. The next target organ vulnerable to LE is skin. Pathological changes of skin depend on the LE power, time of exposure, wave length, and the extent of skin pigmentation. Along with different kinds of damage directly in the tissues exposed to rays, LE may cause changes in organs and body systems subject to indirect exposure. It is important that these changes may develop due to low intensity levels of LE that do not cause local damage. National and international standards on LE safety are based on maximum allowable levels (MAL) of exposure. It has been generally accepted that the main MAL criterion is LE threshold minimal exposure which causes damage to retina, eyes, and skin. As distinct from foreign safety standards, hygienic norms and regulations are in force in the Russian Federation where additional co-efficients along with standard generally accepted MAL values have been introduced for the persons who are subject to occupational regular exposure to lasers. This approach has been chosen after the results of follow-up and health studies of these occupational contingents have been analyzed, and experiments on laboratory animals assessed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 January 1996
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 2728, CIS Selected Papers: Laser Use in Oncology, (8 January 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.229482
Show Author Affiliations
Yu. Paltsev, Institute of Occupational Health (Russia)
A. Levina, Institute of Occupational Health (Russia)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2728:
CIS Selected Papers: Laser Use in Oncology

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