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Laser Safety

Laser is an acronym for "light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation." Radiation in this case occurs in the portions of the electromagnetic field with insufficient energy to induce ionization or breaking up on the atom (i.e., it is non-ionizing). Non-ionizing radiation occurs in the radio frequency, microwave, infrared, visible, and ultraviolet ranges.

Biological damage caused by lasers includes thermal burns, photochemical burns and retinal injury. Electrical safety and fire are also important concerns.

In the use of a laser, safety procedures must be established and followed so that protection is provided for students, teachers, workers, visitors, bystanders and passersby.

The PSU Laser Safety Committee and Laser Safety Officer have established a Laser Safety Manual for research use on campus. To facilitate the safe use of lasers, we also have a Laser Inventory Form, which should be completed by all laser research laboratories. 

All personnel in the laser area should be informed about the potential eye hazard of accidental exposure to the beam.

If you would like additional information on the campus laser safety program or other laser-related topics, please contact the LSO at (503) 725-5269 or email Scott Jaqua.