The vulnerability of plastic laser eye protection used with Class 4 CW lasers was studied using a high-power industrial laser to produce 4 by 4 cm burn zones. Since a CW (or repetitively pulsed) laser beam can burn through such eye protectors, this potential is of concern to Laser Safety Officers (LSOs) prescribing laser eye protectors and transparent barriers for use around both the 10 to 80-W CO2 lasers used in surgery as well as multi-kilowatt industrial CO2 lasers. Polycarbonate filters are shown to have superior resistance to burn through, and thresholds for protective lens burn-through in 3–10 s are provided. It is recommended that LSOs consider polycarbonate transparent impact safety lenses to have a protective optical density (OD) of 4.
- CO2 lasers
- eye protection
- laser barriers
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Biomedical Engineering
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials