Blue Light Hazard

Blue Light Hazard

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Caution: Blue Light Hazard

Blue-light Hazard is defined as the potential for a photochemical induced retinal injury resulting from radiation exposure at wavelengths primarily between 400 nm and 500 nm. The mechanisms for photochemical induced retinal injury are caused by the absorption of light by photoreceptors in the eye. Under normal conditions when light hits a photoreceptor, the cell bleaches and becomes useless until it has recovered through a metabolic process called the visual cycle. Absorption of blue light, however, has been shown to cause a reversal of the process where cells become unbleached and responsive again to light before it is ready. This greatly increases the potential for oxidative damage. By this mechanism, some biological tissues such as skin, the lens of the eye, and in particular the retina may show irreversible changes induced by prolonged exposure to moderate levels of UV radiation and short-wavelength light. (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue-light_hazard)

 

With the recent release of 445nm direct blue laser diodes into the commercial market, high power handheld lasers with output powers of up to 1W will now be available at a significantly lower cost allowing a greater number of people access to the once exclusive technology.

Wicked Lasers recognizes the dangers associated with its mishandling and possible abuse. Laser safety flyers and LaserShades are shipped free together with every Spyder III 445nm Arctic blue laser purchase.

With output power far greater than any other visible handheld laser, custom lasers equipped with the 445nm direct blue laser diode if mishandled, can lead to serious injuries and quite possibly permanent vision impairment.

 


The required Optical Density for laser safety eyewear for a 1W 445nm laser is 3+ for accidental exposures of a quarter of a second. However, an O.D. of 4.4+ is required for longer exposures.

 

Prolonged exposure to blue laser light can alter and have a diminishing effect on a person's perception of the color green.Patients who were treated for being exposed too long to intense blue laser light in the milliwatt range were only able to perceive the green color in a period of about 4-6 months.

The blue wavelength can cause a distinct biochemical action in the release of free radicals which are then effectively absorbed by red blood cells in the capillaries. Blue laser light, 445nm or 470nm is absorbed more effectively by retinal tissue compared to 532nm green or 650nm red laser light.

Though laser safety goggles can protect a person's vision, it's always best to remember NEVER to look into a laser beam or bright reflection even when wearing laser safety goggles. Overall, the best protection is still in arming oneself with preventive knowledge and to exercise responsibility and proper restraint when using lasers.

 

Direct or indirect skin exposure to blue laser light is also harmful. The MPE (Maximum Permissible Exposure) for skin for a 3mm beam of this wavelength is approximately 200mW/CM^2. This is laser can easily generate a power density (irradiance) of about 15 Watts/CM^2. Therefore, this laser's beam exceeds the skin exposure MPE by ( 15 / 0.2 ) = 75 times. At this level of irradiance, skin exposure to the intense blue laser light can possibly cause cancer. Do not allow bare skin to be exposed, including your face when wearing safety goggles, to light diffusely reflected from any surface closer than several inches. This laser is a thousand times stronger than sunlight on skin and any type of exposure should be avoided whether it be from the collimated beam or close exposure to its bright diffused reflections.

Blue light hazard can cause BLINDNESS and not just color perception issues. The power of this laser is no joke, at 1W the Spyder III Pro Arctic is a Class 4 Laser. Do not allow unprotected eye exposure to diffusely scattered light from the beam terminating on a wall, the floor or other flat surface from this laser closer than 3 feet. Accidental eye exposure will definitely result in instant retina tissue damage even within just milliseconds of exposure. Direct eye contact with the beam or reflected will cause instant permanent damage and blindness. Sometimes blindness may take a day or longer for the onset. Unlike instant injury from a bright flash of a red or green laser, this effect is cumulative over 24 hours. It is also possible that such an exposure could cause retinal degeneration and even loss of vision later in life.

This is a very serious issue and would like to reiterate that extreme care, proper safety gear and the necessary safety precautions be followed when using the Spyder III Pro Arctic, it is not a toy, it is a high power Class 4 1W laser. In addition, this laser must NEVER be used to play with your pets. At close range, this Class 4 beam will cause immediate and irreversable retinal damage. Close proximity to the beam's diffused reflection off floors and walls could potentially cause injury and blindness. In general, DO NOT aim this laser on yourself, on your skin, on animals, on others or target moving vehicles and airplanes.

The Spyder III Pro Arctic blue laser should only be handheld by individuals who have appropriate laser safety training and product familiarity in using Class 4 lasers. For more information and guidance please refer to ANSI Standard Z136.1 from the American National Standards Institute on the safe use of lasers.

 

wavelength
Human Eye Transmission Characteristics

Laser Safety Tips:

1 - Do not allow minors to use a handheld laser unsupervised. Furthermore, only allow adults to use laser pointers after they have understood the responsibilities and risks that it carries.

2 - Never shine a laser at anyone, especially their face. Even temporary exposure can cause significant damage to the eye. Lasers are designed to point at inanimate objects.

3 - Always be conscious of where you're pointing. Avoid pointing a laser at any reflective surfaces. Unintentionally reflected beams can easily violate laser safety tip #2.

4 - Never use your laser in the vicinity of airports, highways, construction sites or anywhere individuals need to constantly pay attention to their work for their own safety. A split-second distraction, a sudden laser light in a plane cockpit, for example, can be disastrous.

5 - Be especially cautious around high-powered lasers, like green handheld lasers used for stargazing. They are far stronger than the conventional red lasers commonly used during lectures. And do not purchase a handheld laser at all if it does not identify its class or power.

6 - Do not purchase a handheld laser if it does not have a caution or danger sticker on it identifying its class. Report suspicious devices to the FDA.

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