What are Lasers
Laser is an acronym for "light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation." Laser light has several properties that make it different from regular light. First, it is often collimated, which means it travels in a narrow beam for long distances, rather than going off in many directions as regular light does. Laser light is also coherent, which means that the light waves stay synchronized over long distances. It is also monochromatic, that is, of one color. Some laser beams are invisible, producing light in the infrared or ultraviolet wavelengths. A laser can produce short bursts of light or a continuous beam of light. Because it can be focused narrowly, laser light can be much more intense than regular light, especially in bursts. Lasers range in power from a few microwatts to several billion watts in short bursts.
ARRA and Laser Safety
The Agency regulates the use of Class 3B and Class 4 Lasers through registration/licensing and an inspection process of registrants in accordance with Administrative Code, Title 12, Chapter 1, Article 14.
There are four major classes of lasers ranging from those that pose no known hazard to those that pose serious danger if used improperly. Generally the higher the class, the more powerful the laser. Depending on the strength of the laser, a variety of safety features such as safety locks, emission indicators, switches that automatically turn off the laser and the use of protective eye wear can be required. There are also requirements for laser warning labels and certification labels that laser complies with FDA safety requirements.
Common Uses for Lasers
Laser Light Shows
For more information on this topic please visit the following Internet areas:
FDA - Manufacturers and Users of Lasers for Refractive Surgery
"An Important Letter to Ophthalmologists about Lasers for Refractive Surgery"
Update on Eximer Lasers for Nearsightedness
FDA Clears First Laser for Treating Tooth Decay
Laser Institute of America "LIA" Laser Safety