ANSI Z American National Standard for Safe Use of Lasers and the history of lasers and laser classes. Since the last ANSI Z standard was published, developments in laser devices and laser applications have prompted research into the bioeffects involving. The ANSI Z is a parent document and cornerstone of the Z series of laser safety standards, the Z is the foundation of laser safety programs for.

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Guidance is also offered in the use of laser eyewear in conjunction with ultrashort pulses. The Class 1 category is therefore standadr expanded for those lasers. Most current Class 2 will remain Class 2 or will become 2M if they possess a highly divergent stanxard.

This should be contrasted with previous generations of laser pointers that were based on HeNe lasers and were generally classified as Class 2. CopyrightLaser Institute of America.

The biological data thus produced provides the basis for extending the formalism and hazard limits into new parameter space. The new triangular symbol is introduced into both the “Caution” and “Danger” signs. Currently few differences exist between the two standards.

New Revision of ANSI Z136.1 (Laser Safety Standards)

This would allow users to better prepare for eventual adoption of these changes. They are routinely used in demonstrations, alignment, educational, and numerous other applications.

In the absence of accepted biological data, the previous standard only provided MPE data for pulses down to 10 —9 seconds, or one nanosecond ns.

Three new classes of lasers are being created 1M, 2M and 3R.

For pulses shorter than 10 —9 seconds, the guidance was to employ the MPE for 1 ns. The appendix contains numerous examples that illustrate and clarify the application of the new methodology.

With the emergence of new biological data for z1361. pulses, more precise and less conservative guidance is provided in the new standard for ultrashort pulses down to femtoseconds in the retinal hazard region of 0.


The ANSI Z specifies sign dimension, lettering size, color, and other important sign design elements.

New Revision of ANSI Z (Laser Safety Standards)

The new standard also facilitates the methodology of dealing with small and extended sources. Thus in the visible part of the spectrum, Class 2 range is 0. Separate tables are provided for dealing with the two distinct viewing conditions, and dual limits photochemical and thermal for the appropriate spectral range are provided.

Similarly Class 2M applies to visible lasers which are safe when viewed by the unaided eye for up to 0. Maximum Permissible Exposures MPEs The new standard revises the tables containing MPEs, and methods by which hazard evaluation and laser classifications are done for ocular exposure of small intrabeam viewing and extended source viewing.

In general, the guidance based upon the new data is less stringent than the corresponding guidance in the previous version of the standard. This clearly produced a conservative approach to the hazard evaluation for such sources. All current Class 1 lasers will become Class 1 and Class 1M. Once adopted by ANSI, corresponding changes will be have to be made in the Control Measures and Measurement sections to account for the added requirements. The Control Measures section of the new standard specifically treats safety issues associated with laser pointers, and provides guidance for the safe use of these products.

Visit the LIA website at http: In the past several years the use of laser pointers has proliferated significantly.

The new standard revises the tables containing MPEs, and methods by which hazard evaluation and laser classifications are done for ocular exposure of small intrabeam viewing and extended source viewing. With advances in laser device technology driving new designs, the new laser pointers generally contain a diode laser that is classified as Class 3a. Class 1M is composed of lasers, which are incapable of causing eye damage except when viewed with optical instruments.


Join or Renew Members Only. The most important changes contained in the newly revised standard are described below. Laser Pointers In the past several years the use of laser pointers has proliferated significantly.

This newly revised standard will contain several important additions and changes to the last ANSI Z While it is unlikely that momentary exposure to laser pointers will cause permanent retinal damage, exposure to these devices can cause other visual impairment. To help rectify the situation, the IEC is considering slight modification to their classification scheme that would more clearly define risk levels under reasonably foreseeable use.

The great proliferation of these devices has made it more likely that individuals who are not familiar with appropriate safety precautions would use them. The new hazard signs contain an equilateral triangle attention symbol in addition to the familiar sunburst pattern.

Class 3R for reduced requirements is for laser products that are marginally safe for intrabeam viewing. Flashblindness, afterimage, and glare can occur as a result of exposure to laser pointers and may result in visual dysfunction that can affect visual-critical activity such as driving or flying.

The process for conducting hazard evaluation and analysis is thus greatly simplified, and would be welcome by laser safety officers and others who are charged with the responsibility of performing laser ztandard evaluation and classification as part of an overall hazard analysis. The IEC recognizes that xnsi current classification scheme is problematic particularly as it relates to evaluations with and without optically aided viewing.

The ramifications of these changes are relatively small.

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