Laser Safety Information

The University of Iowa Laser Safety Program is designed to provide guidance for the safe use of lasers in research and to help provide for the safety of all personnel and visitors that may be exposed to the radiation emitted by laser radiation.

The laser safety policy is based on standards promulgated by ANSI Z136.1, and applies to all lasers and laser systems, whether purchased, borrowed, fabricated, or brought in for use by others. Many lasers are capable of causing eye injury to anyone who looks directly into the beam.  Reflections alone from high-power laser beams can produce permanent eye damage.  High-power laser beams can also burn exposed skin. Laser operators must be aware of other potential dangers such as fire, electrical, biological and chemical hazards.

The UI's Laser Safety Manual provides basic information on laser operation and safety practices, as well as University policy regarding the safe use of lasers and laser systems.  Beam hazards are discussed in the body of the text and non-beam or associated hazards are discussed in Appendix 1.