American National Standards (ANS) make significant contributions to laser use and safety in the United States. Standards developed by the Laser Institute of America (LIA), a member of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and an accredited standards developer, guide laser use as it pertains to health care facilities, educational institutions, outdoor applications, and more. LIA holds the secretariat of the ANSI Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) Z136, a group that develops and maintains a number of ANS for laser safety:
ANSI Z136.1-2007, American National Standard for Safe Use of Lasers
With the support of nine working groups that address different elements of lasers and radiation, one joint working group with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and an advisory group, TC 76 has developed the IEC 60825 series of standards with many diverse applications. Industries that have been served by TC 76 documents include communications, lighting, medical technologies, and even entertainment. The committee continues to grow, and has seen an increase of more than thirty percent in the past ten years.
"In times of economic slowdown, to see the committee growing is a positive sign," said Mr. Ertle. "For the size, niche, and participation, we are one of the most relied-upon Technical Committees, and we produce quite a few standards."
The ANSI Z136 series of standards and the IEC 60825 series of standards are available for purchase on an individual basis or through convenient packages at webstore.ansi.org.
To learn more about standards for laser safety, see the IEC article and the LIA website.