Potential Ocular and Skin Hazards from Lamps and Projector Systems

  • James Franks
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSB, volume 242)


Few retinal injuries from non-laser sources of optical radiation have been reported in the literature. In fact, those that have been documented have not been thermal injuries but have been photochemical injuries from short wavelength visible light. It may be argued in fact that man-made non-laser sources other than the nuclear fireball are not capable of causing retinal thermal injury except under unusual conditions where large retinal image diameters are produced or where an individual overcomes his natural aversion to bright light and forces himself to stare into a source for a longer than normal time. Bare arc lamps that have no plastic or glass cover have been known to cause photokerititis or erethema from the ultraviolet B and C content in the lamp’s output. Recent exposure guidelines such as those contained in the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists Threshold Limit Values Suggested Changes for 1990 (ACGIH, 1990) suggest that sources such as tungsten halogen lamps can exceed exposure limits for short wavelength visible light. This is commonly referred to as the “blue-light” hazard. Allistair McKinlay describes this standard in detail in another section of this proceedings.


Projection System Tungsten Halogen Lamp Threshold Limit Value Retinal Injury Aversion Response 
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  1. American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), Threshold Limit Values and Biological Exposure Indices for 1989–1990, ACGIH, Cincinnati, OH, 1989.Google Scholar
  2. Sliney, D.H. and Wolbarsht, M.R., Safety with Lasers and Other Optical Sources, Plenum, NY, 1980.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Franks
    • 1
  1. 1.Laser-Microwave DivisionUS Army Environmental Hygiene AgencyUSA

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