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Proceedings Paper

Common Sense Laser Safety
Author(s): Konstadinos Siomos
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Paper Abstract

Since the laser was invented in 1960, there has been considerable concern for the safety of those who either use or happen to be near these sources of spectrally pure high-intensity radiation. Recognizing that laser radiation is potentially hazardous, suitable control of that hazard necessitated the establishment of safety rules and standards of exposure to laser radiation. Such standards both voluntarily and governmentally decreed [1-4] have evolved based on the best available information of experimental studies [5-6]. Lasers can be hazardous owing to the great brightness of the laser-light beam, which can transverse long distances with little change in the radiation intensity because of its high degree of collimation. Although the principal concern is with eye damage, skin damage may also be of concern at high laser-light intensities. In addition, and aside from laser radiation damage, operation of laser equipment involves various other potential hazards as for example electrical shocks and airborne contaminants. Some of the potential hazards caused either from the laser light itself or associated with the operation of laser devices and laser systems can be categorized as follows: 1. Radiative hazards 2. Electrical hazards 3. Explosive and fire hazards 4. Toxic hazards 1. Radiative Hazards (a) Human Eye The human organ most vulnerable to the laser-light exposure is the Eye (Fig. 1), where extensive damage, in particular on the retina, may occur.

Paper Details

Date Published:
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Proc. SPIE 1143, Advances in Laser Medicine II: Safety and Laser Tissue Interaction, ; doi: 10.1117/12.961952
Show Author Affiliations
Konstadinos Siomos, Technical University of Crete (Greece)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1143:
Advances in Laser Medicine II: Safety and Laser Tissue Interaction

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