The use of lasers in the infrared region between 1200-1400 nm has steadily increased in various industrial and commercial applications. However, there are few studies documenting damage thresholds for the skin in this region, and current laser safety standards are based on limited data. This study has determined preliminary skin damage thresholds for the Effective Dose for 50% probability (ED50) of a Minimum Visible Lesion (MVL) with laser exposure at 1314nm and 0.35 ms pulse width. An <i>in-vivo</i> pigmented animal model, Yucatan mini-pig (<i>Sus scrofa domestica</i>), was used in this study. The type and extent of tissue damage in the porcine skin was determined through histopathologic examination, and the findings are discussed. Finally, the results of this study were compared to other literature as well as to the existing ANSI Z136.1 (2000) standard for safe use of lasers.
The Department of Defense has an increasing number of high-energy laser weapons programs with the potential to mature in the not too distant future. However, as laser systems with increasingly higher energies are developed, the difficulty of the laser safety problem increases proportionally, and presents unique safety challenges. The hazard distance for the direct beam can be in the order of thousands of miles, and radiation reflected from the target may also be hazardous over long distances. This paper details the Air Force Research Laboratory/Optical Radiation Branch (AFRL/HEDO) High-Energy Laser (HEL) safety program, which has been developed to support DOD HEL programs by providing critical capability and knowledge with respect to laser safety. The overall aim of the program is to develop and demonstrate technologies that permit safe testing, deployment and use of high-energy laser weapons. The program spans the range of applicable technologies, including evaluation of the biological effects of high-energy laser systems, development and validation of laser hazard assessment tools, and development of appropriate eye protection for those at risk.