Abstract

As the use of optical fiber communications systems that utilize semiconductor laser transmitters increases, the laser safety aspects unique to such systems need to be examined. Laser safety standards have been in use for many years [ “ American National Standard for the Safe Use of Lasers,” American National Standards Institute Z136.1 ( ANSI, New York, 1980); American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (AGGIH), A Guide for Control of Laser Hazards ( AGGIH, Cincinnati, 1981); United Nations Environmental Program, World Health Organizations, International Radiation Protection Association, Environmental Health Criteria 23: Lasers and Optical Radiation ( World Health Organization, Geneva, 1982]. These standards usually address conventional lasers with a collimated output. In terms of the radiant energy emitted from the end of a radiating optical fiber, current laser safety standards place most systems in a potentially hazardous category, i.e., Class 3b. However, when one considers the unique aspects of a highly divergent beam and the physiological limits for close viewing, these systems appear to be considerably less hazardous than one might initially suspect. This warrants a separate dedicated standard. One organization, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z136 Committee, is addressing this issue through development of the “American National Standard for the Safe Use of Optical Fiber Communications Systems Utilizing Laser Diode and LED Sources” (ANSI Z136.2). It is shown that optically aided viewing, pupil size, and viewing durations are the critical safety issues. This paper proposes the rationale for that standard.

© 1986 Optical Society of America

Full Article  |  PDF Article

References

  • View by:
  • |
  • |
  • |

  1. “American National Standard for the Safe Use of Lasers,” American National Standards Institute Z136.1 (ANSI, New York, 1980).
  2. American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), A Guide for Control of Laser Hazards (ACGIH, Cincinnati, 1981).
  3. United Nations Program Environment Health World International Organization Protection Radiation Association, Environmental Health Criteria 23: Lasers and Optical Radiation (World Health Organization, Geneva, 1982).
  4. International Radiation Protection Association, “Guidelines on Limits of Exposure to Laser Radiation for Wavelengths between 180 nm and 1 mm, Health Phys. in press XX, 000 (198X).
  5. International Electrotechnical Commission, Safety of Laser Products, Equipment, Classification, and Users Guide IEC Publication 802 (IEC, Geneva, 1984).
  6. D. H. Sliney, M. L. Wolbarsht, Safety with Lasers and Other Optical Sources, (Plenum, New York, 1980).
  7. C. C. Timmermann, “Handling Optical Cables: Safety Aspects,” Appl. Opt. 16, 2380 (1977).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  8. G. E. Chamberlain, G. W. Day, D. L. Franzen, R. L. Gallowa, E. M. Kim, M. Young,” Optical Fiber Characterization, Natl. Bur. Stand. U.S. Spec. Publ. 637, Vol. 2, 101 (1983).
  9. W. J. Marshall, “Hazard Analysis on Gaussian Shaped Laser Beams,” Am. Ind. Hyg. Assoc. J. 41, 547 (1980).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. W. T. Ham, H. A. Mueller, J. J. Ruffolo, R. Kennon Guerry, A. M. Clarke, “Ocular Effects of GaAs Lasers and Near Infrared Radiation,” Appl. Opt. 23, 2181 (1984).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]

1984 (1)

1983 (1)

G. E. Chamberlain, G. W. Day, D. L. Franzen, R. L. Gallowa, E. M. Kim, M. Young,” Optical Fiber Characterization, Natl. Bur. Stand. U.S. Spec. Publ. 637, Vol. 2, 101 (1983).

1980 (1)

W. J. Marshall, “Hazard Analysis on Gaussian Shaped Laser Beams,” Am. Ind. Hyg. Assoc. J. 41, 547 (1980).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

1977 (1)

Chamberlain, G. E.

G. E. Chamberlain, G. W. Day, D. L. Franzen, R. L. Gallowa, E. M. Kim, M. Young,” Optical Fiber Characterization, Natl. Bur. Stand. U.S. Spec. Publ. 637, Vol. 2, 101 (1983).

Clarke, A. M.

Day, G. W.

G. E. Chamberlain, G. W. Day, D. L. Franzen, R. L. Gallowa, E. M. Kim, M. Young,” Optical Fiber Characterization, Natl. Bur. Stand. U.S. Spec. Publ. 637, Vol. 2, 101 (1983).

Franzen, D. L.

G. E. Chamberlain, G. W. Day, D. L. Franzen, R. L. Gallowa, E. M. Kim, M. Young,” Optical Fiber Characterization, Natl. Bur. Stand. U.S. Spec. Publ. 637, Vol. 2, 101 (1983).

Gallowa, R. L.

G. E. Chamberlain, G. W. Day, D. L. Franzen, R. L. Gallowa, E. M. Kim, M. Young,” Optical Fiber Characterization, Natl. Bur. Stand. U.S. Spec. Publ. 637, Vol. 2, 101 (1983).

Ham, W. T.

Kennon Guerry, R.

Kim, E. M.

G. E. Chamberlain, G. W. Day, D. L. Franzen, R. L. Gallowa, E. M. Kim, M. Young,” Optical Fiber Characterization, Natl. Bur. Stand. U.S. Spec. Publ. 637, Vol. 2, 101 (1983).

Marshall, W. J.

W. J. Marshall, “Hazard Analysis on Gaussian Shaped Laser Beams,” Am. Ind. Hyg. Assoc. J. 41, 547 (1980).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Mueller, H. A.

Ruffolo, J. J.

Sliney, D. H.

D. H. Sliney, M. L. Wolbarsht, Safety with Lasers and Other Optical Sources, (Plenum, New York, 1980).

Timmermann, C. C.

Wolbarsht, M. L.

D. H. Sliney, M. L. Wolbarsht, Safety with Lasers and Other Optical Sources, (Plenum, New York, 1980).

Young, M.

G. E. Chamberlain, G. W. Day, D. L. Franzen, R. L. Gallowa, E. M. Kim, M. Young,” Optical Fiber Characterization, Natl. Bur. Stand. U.S. Spec. Publ. 637, Vol. 2, 101 (1983).

Am. Ind. Hyg. Assoc. J. (1)

W. J. Marshall, “Hazard Analysis on Gaussian Shaped Laser Beams,” Am. Ind. Hyg. Assoc. J. 41, 547 (1980).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Appl. Opt. (2)

Natl. Bur. Stand. U.S. Spec. Publ. 637 (1)

G. E. Chamberlain, G. W. Day, D. L. Franzen, R. L. Gallowa, E. M. Kim, M. Young,” Optical Fiber Characterization, Natl. Bur. Stand. U.S. Spec. Publ. 637, Vol. 2, 101 (1983).

Other (6)

“American National Standard for the Safe Use of Lasers,” American National Standards Institute Z136.1 (ANSI, New York, 1980).

American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), A Guide for Control of Laser Hazards (ACGIH, Cincinnati, 1981).

United Nations Program Environment Health World International Organization Protection Radiation Association, Environmental Health Criteria 23: Lasers and Optical Radiation (World Health Organization, Geneva, 1982).

International Radiation Protection Association, “Guidelines on Limits of Exposure to Laser Radiation for Wavelengths between 180 nm and 1 mm, Health Phys. in press XX, 000 (198X).

International Electrotechnical Commission, Safety of Laser Products, Equipment, Classification, and Users Guide IEC Publication 802 (IEC, Geneva, 1984).

D. H. Sliney, M. L. Wolbarsht, Safety with Lasers and Other Optical Sources, (Plenum, New York, 1980).

Cited By

OSA participates in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. Citing articles from OSA journals and other participating publishers are listed here.

Alert me when this article is cited.


Figures (23)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Critical viewing distance of a multimode fiber for the unaided eye as a function of optical power and N.A. The exposure duration is 100 s, the wavelength is 825 nm.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Critical viewing distance of a multimode fiber for the unaided eye as a function of optical power and N.A. The exposure duration is 100s, the wavelength is 900 nm.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Critical viewing distance of a multimode fiber for the unaided eye as a function of optical power and N.A. The exposure duration is 100 s, the wavelengths is 1300 nm.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Critical viewing distance of a single-mode fiber for the unaided eye as a function of optical power and wavelength. The exposure duration is 100 s, and the core diameter is 8 μm.

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

Percent power entering the eye as a function of N.A. for various pupil diameters for the unaided eye at a distance of 10 cm.

Fig. 6
Fig. 6

Percent power entering the eye from a 8-μm diam single-mode fiber as a function of wavelength for various pupil diameters for the unaided eye at a distance of 10 cm.

Fig. 7
Fig. 7

Percent power entering the eye as a function of N.A. for various pupil diameters for a 5× eye loupe held at its focal distance.

Fig. 8
Fig. 8

Percent power entering the eye from a 8-μm diam single-mode fiber as a function of wavelength for various pupil diameters for a 5× eye loupe held at its focal distance.

Fig. 9
Fig. 9

Percent power entering the eye as a function of N.A. for various pupil diameters for a 7.5× eye loupe held at its focal distance.

Fig. 10
Fig. 10

Percent power entering the eye from a 8-μm diam single-mode fiber as a function of wavelength for various pupil diameters for a 7.5× eye loupe held at its focal distance.

Fig. 11
Fig. 11

Percent power entering the eye as a function of N.A. for various pupil diameters for a 10× eye loupe held at its focal distance.

Fig. 12
Fig. 12

Percent power entering the eye from a 8-μm diam single-mode fiber as a function of wavelength for various pupil diameters for a 10× eye loupe held at its focal distance.

Fig. 13
Fig. 13

Percent power entering the eye as a function of N.A. for various pupil diameters for a 20× eye loupe held at its focal distance.

Fig. 14
Fig. 14

Percent power entering the eye from a 8-μm diam single-mode fiber as a function of wavelength for various pupil diameters for a 20× eye loupe held at its focal distance.

Fig. 15
Fig. 15

Retinal image diameter as a function of source diameter for various magnification eye loupes.

Fig. 16
Fig. 16

Retinal image diameter as a function of source diameter for viewing with a microscope at various magnification.

Fig. 17
Fig. 17

Power emitted from the end of a multimode optical fiber that produces an exposure equal to the MPE (for wavelengths >1400 nm) for viewing durations of 1 and 10 s at a distance of 1 cm.

Fig. 18
Fig. 18

Power emitted from the end of a 8-μm diam single-mode optical fiber that produces an exposure equal to the MPE (for wavelengths >1400 nm) for viewing durations of 1 and 10 s at a distance of 1 cm.

Fig. 19
Fig. 19

Schematic diagram of ocular viewing condition with an eye loupe.

Fig. 20
Fig. 20

Power emitted from the end of a multimode optical fiber that produces an exposure equal to the MPE (for wavelengths >1400 nm) for optically aided viewing and 10-s exposure duration. The viewing distance corresponds to the focal length of the lens.

Fig. 21
Fig. 21

Power emitted from the end of a multimode optical fiber that produces an exposure equal to the MPE (for wavelengths >1400 nm) for optically aided viewing and 1-s exposure duration. The viewing distance corresponds to the focal length of the lens.

Fig. 22
Fig. 22

Power emitted from the end of an 8-μm diam single-mode optical fiber that produces an exposure equal to the MPE (for wavelengths >1400 nm) for optically aided viewing and 10-s exposure duration. The viewing distance corresponds to the focal length of the lens.

Fig. 23
Fig. 23

Power emitted from the end of an 8-μm diam single-mode optical fiber that produces an exposure equal to the MPE (for wavelengths >1400 nm) for optically aided viewing and 1 s exposure duration. The viewing distance corresponds to the focal length of the lens.

Tables (2)

Tables Icon

Table I Modified Exposure Limits in mW/cm2 for OFCS

Tables Icon

Table II Accessible Emission Levels in milliwatts (Average Power) for OFCS

Equations (13)

Equations on this page are rendered with MathJax. Learn more.

D l = 2 r tan ( sin 1 N . A . ) 1.7 2 r ( N . A . ) 1.7 ,
r c = 1.7 D 0 2 N . A . { 1 In [ 1 0.125 π ( MPE ) Φ ] } 1 / 2 ,
r c = 1.7 tan ( sin 1 N . A . ) ( Φ π MPE ) 1 / 2 1.7 N . A . ( Φ π MPE ) 1 / 2 .
D l = 2 r λ π w 0 ,
r c = π w 0 D 0 2 λ { 1 ln [ 1 0.125 π ( MPE ) Φ ] } 1 / 2 ,
r c w 0 λ { π Φ MPE } 1 / 2 .
MPE = 1.8 × 10 2 ( λ 0.7 ) t 1 / 4 mW / cm 2
MPE = 9 t 1 / 4 mW / cm 2
MPE = 0.56 t 0.25 W / cm 2 .
for multimode ; C B = [ 1 e ( 0.17 N A ) 2 ] 1 : for single - mode ; C B = [ 1 e ( π D m 10 λ ) 2 ] 1
for multimode ; C C = [ 1 e ( 0.04 N A ) 2 ] 1 : for single - mode ; C C = [ 1 e ( π D m 40 λ ) 2 ] 1
for multimode ; C D = [ 1 e ( 0.09 N A ) 2 ] 1 : for single - mode ; C D = [ 1 e ( π D m 20 λ ) 2 ] 1
for multimode ; C V = [ 1 e ( 0.4 N A ) 2 ] 1 : for single - mode ; C V = [ 1 e ( π D m 4 λ ) 2 ] 1

Metrics