This section has been reviewed and updated as needed: April 2014

The UNC-CH policy on laser safety requires that all lasers and laser systems be operated in accordance with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z136.1 2000, “the Safe Use of Lasers;” and other applicable federal and state regulations. To implement the policy properly while giving the greatest possible latitude to the researcher, all laser operations at UNC-CH must be reviewed and approved by the UNC-CH Laser Safety Officer (LSO).

The primary objective of the UNC laser safety program is to ensure that no laser radiation in excess of the maximum permissible exposure (MPE) limit reaches the human eye or skin. Additionally, the program is designed to ensure that adequate protection against collateral hazards is provided. These collateral hazards include the risk of electrical shock, fire hazard from a beam or from use of dyes and solvents, and chemical exposures from use of chemicals and vaporization of targets.