Laser Safety: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Laser Safety

1st Edition

By Roy Henderson, Karl Schulmeister

CRC Press

474 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9780750308595
pub: 2003-12-01
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429140136
pub: 2003-12-01
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Covering both underlying theory and practical applications, Laser Safety provides a unique and readily-understandable review of current laser safety. This resource explains in detail the biological effects of laser radiation, particularly on the eye, and the provisions and requirements of the international laser safety standard IEC 60825-1, including a full description of the recently revised system of laser classification. It elucidates the rationale for the often-complex laser emission and exposure limits given in the standard, and provides detailed guidance for using the standard to carry out quantitative laser assessments. The authors also discuss practical issues of risk assessment, safety controls, eye protection, and laser safety management.

This practical and comprehensive handbook will be useful for anyone involved in laser safety, including academic and medical researchers, laser manufacturers, and compliance officers.


"In Laser Safety Henderson and Schulmeister have written the most up-to-date and detailed book on the subject to become available in many years. It is a comprehensive work, a handbook that provides a complete review of laser safety concepts and applications both for the laser product manufacturer and for the laser user.

From the basic concepts of lasers and optical terminology through laser beam and non-beam hazards, the authors discuss all topics thoroughly. One of the principal strengths of Laser Safety is its chapter on laser radiation hazards. This chapter includes detailed background information for maximum permissible exposures (MPEs) and a discussion of measurement concepts for evaluating potential eye and skin exposure levels. This discussion can be of great help to the laser safety officers (LSO) who wants to understand the origins and rationale for the MPEs. This is followed by a comprehensive chapter on laser product classification emphasizing the international laser safety standard, IEC 60825-1. The authors clearly explain the similarities and differences between the international standard, the United States CDRH regulations, and the ANSI Z136 standards.

Whether involved in industrial, medical, research, or academic environments, LSOs and other laser safety professionals will find this to be a must-have reference."

-Darrell Seeley, President and Certified LSO, Laser Safety Associates, LLC, LIA Today

"The authors have succeeded in producing a comprehensive, thoroughly up-to-date reference book that addresses in depth both the theoretical and practical aspects of the subject. The explanations are accurate and complete and they have not dodged difficult and contentious issues. For example, I was delighted with their appendix of common misunderstandings.

Laser Safety is comprehensive, up to date, and international in its approach to safety legislation. The authors and IOP deserve great credit for producing the new bible for laser safety professionals and, more importantly, a book that will influence people's approach to the subject for many years to come."

-Dr. M. Green, Prolaser

"This comprehensive handbook explains in detail both the background to laser safety and its practical implementation. The discussions extend from detailed theoretical considerations to practical issues or workplace safety, therefore this book can be used advantageously both by scientists and practitioners."

-CIE News, March 2004. Read the full review [PDF 435k]

"Because the handling of lasers can expose workers and researchers to certain risks, standards of use and safety have been developed by the United States and European governments. In Laser Safety, the authors have expanded on these standards elucidating technical jargon, providing the rationale and science behind some of the regulations. …

The authors have designed a well-organized resource. The table of contents is presented in such a way as to give quick entry to the content. There are numerous illustrations and tables with data. There are equations, as needed, which define physical relationships, but the content is not overly mathematical. There are four appendices which include a glossary, a couple of tables of numerical values, and one on 'common misunderstandings.'

It is apparent that the authors have taken some effort to write in clear, uncomplicated terms. Even to someone not particularly involved with laser research, it is reasonably comprehensible. … This would be a valuable resource for any program in which lasers are handled. This handbook is recommended for academic, medical, and industrial libraries supporting these programs."

-E-STREAMS, Vol. 7, No. 6, June 2004. Read the full review [PDF]

"This new laser safety text is very well written, referenced, and indexed. Among other things, the international perspective, illustration of the approximate nature of geometric optics, excellent material on the emerging issue of high powered LEDs, and interesting appendix on 'common misunderstandings' make this text a valuable addition to any laser safety professional's library. We predict it will become a fundamental LS text, right along Sliney & Wolbarsht!"

-TALSO [Triangle Area Laser Safety Officers]

Table of Contents


Lasers: stimulating light

Creating light

Quantifying light

The properties of laser radiation

The safety of laser technology

Safety standards


Power and energy

Irradiance and radiant exposure

Angle and intensity

Field of view-angle of acceptance


Wavelength issues

Absorption, reflection and scattering

Measurement instruments and detectors




The human skin

The human eye

The concept of exposure limits (MPE)

Laser-tissue interaction

MPE evaluation and measurement concept

Injury to the skin

Skin MPE values

Injury to the eye

MPE values for the eye-also relevant to AEL values

MPE values in the ultraviolet

Retinal MPE values

MPE values in the far infrared

Multiple wavelength exposures



Measurement versus calculation

Classification apertures

Beam profiles

Hazard distance

Beam reflections

Optical viewing instruments

Assessment accuracy


Other hazards of laser operation

Additional beam hazards

Non-beam hazards


Workplace evaluation

Risk assessment


Introduction to protective control measures

Laser controlled areas

Engineering control measures

Adminsistrative control measures

Personal protection

Eye protection

Working in laser controlled areas

Laser servicing


Health & safety responsibilities

The framework policy

The role of the laser safety officer

Safety training

Human factors

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Optics
SCIENCE / Physics
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Industrial Health & Safety