The laser produces an intense, highly directional beam of light. If directed, reflected or focused upon an object, laser light will be partially absorbed, raising the temperature of the surface and/or the interior of the object, potentially causing an alteration or deformation of the material. These properties which have been applied to laser surgery and materials processing can also cause tissue damage. The human body is vulnerable to the output of certain lasers, and under certain circumstances, exposure can result in damage to the eye and skin. Research relating to injury thresholds of the eye and skin has been carried out in order to understand the biological hazards of laser radiation. In addition to the direct hazards to the eye and skin from the laser beam itself, it is also important to address other hazards associated with the use of lasers. These non-beam hazards, in some cases, can be life threatening.

You can find detailed information about radiation safety in the USD Laser Safety Manual including policies and safe work practices.

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