Old 01-17-2015, 08:44 AM #1
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Default Are any lasers safe to touch

How power full of a laser can you get where it is safe to touch the beam?



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Old 01-17-2015, 05:53 PM #2
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Default Re: Are any lasers safe to tough

That depends on a lot of things like
wavelength and beam diameter. Skin is even
different in different people and areas of
the body. I would be a fool to provide a
numerical answer.
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Old 01-17-2015, 07:20 PM #3
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Default Re: Are any lasers safe to tough

Also skin color. Just based off my own testing, hitting a freckle with a laser hurts more than just lighter skin.

Also I wavelength affects it too. I can feel a 50 mW 405 laser, but not a 50 mW 532.
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Old 01-17-2015, 07:36 PM #4
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Talking Re: Are any lasers safe to tough

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Originally Posted by jim1174 View Post
How power full of a laser can you get where it is safe to touch the beam?
I would recommend not touching the beam. Even if you knew the "number" you'd also need to know the laser's "number", and, they are rarely accurately rated.

IE: Lets say you did a detailed study, and found for your skin, on the part you wanted to touch, the number was 5 mw....so you bought a 5 mw laser, and assumed you were fine, but, it was underrated and actually put out 50 mw, and, burned you.

If you are asking this question, essentially, just do your best to not touch it...that will be safer.

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Old 01-17-2015, 08:33 PM #5
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Default Re: Are any lasers safe to tough

I know those cheap red laser pointers are safe lol.
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Old 01-17-2015, 09:09 PM #6
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Talking Re: Are any lasers safe to tough

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I know those cheap red laser pointers are safe lol.
And you could be wrong, as they are often under rated.



Hence the advice for someone who needs to ask....don't touch.

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Old 01-17-2015, 09:40 PM #7
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Default Re: Are any lasers safe to tough

All of the "cheap" red pens that I buy are over 100mW. You are likely "safe" if it one of those cat toys that take button cell batteries. Don't just assume that if you get a green laser that you can barely see the beam in a dark room has a really low output either. I just received a green one last week that was very dim but measured over 70mW so it was pushing lots of infrared.
Bottom line is you need an LPM to measure what's really going on.
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Old 01-17-2015, 10:23 PM #8
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Default Re: Are any lasers safe to tough

Its not terribly painful anyways. To me, putting my hand in the way of a 1.4 watt 445 laser felt the same as touching something that was just slightly too hot to handle comfortably.
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Old 01-17-2015, 11:01 PM #9
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Default Re: Are any lasers safe to tough

Red wave lengths are harder to feel as our skin is able to diffuse the beam.

Near UV 405 nm a 50 mw laser will make your skin feel warm.

So as you get closer to 400nm you get more absorption.
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Old 01-17-2015, 11:41 PM #10
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Default Re: Are any lasers safe to tough

And lower than 405 and your DNA starts taking damage.
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Old 01-18-2015, 01:39 PM #11
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Default Re: Are any lasers safe to tough

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And lower than 405 and your DNA starts taking damage.
There is no "magic" wavelength below which
DNA damage begins to occur. The chances
only increase as the wavelength decreases.
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Old 01-19-2015, 05:55 AM #12
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Default Re: Are any lasers safe to touch

Stay away from 254nm folks.

I just waved my hand over it once and i can smell my skin breaking down.


Wear gloves and Goggles as well as blocking any light from a clear florescent tube. if you work with it. It's completely covered up so no light gets out unless i open it to change a sample hence my protection.

I have a small one i use to test materials exposure. It dry rots rubber bands in a day.

if you see a florescent tube that glows like one of those bug lights run or you will get arc eye if you don't have proper eye protection.

I found orange colored laser goggles to work the best since they block 190-500 some nms.
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