The Protective Characteristics of Polycarbonate Lenses Against CO2 Laser Radiation

David H. Sliney, Shawn D. Sparks, Rodney L. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The vulnerability of plastic laser eye protection used with Class 4 CW lasers was studied using a high-power industrial laser to produce 4 by 4 cm burn zones. Since a CW (or repetitively pulsed) laser beam can burn through such eye protectors, this potential is of concern to Laser Safety Officers (LSOs) prescribing laser eye protectors and transparent barriers for use around both the 10 to 80-W CO2 lasers used in surgery as well as multi-kilowatt industrial CO2 lasers. Polycarbonate filters are shown to have superior resistance to burn through, and thresholds for protective lens burn-through in 3–10 s are provided. It is recommended that LSOs consider polycarbonate transparent impact safety lenses to have a protective optical density (OD) of 4.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-52
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Laser Applications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • CO2 lasers
  • eye protection
  • laser barriers
  • Polycarbonate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials


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