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Product Code: JLA_14_4_260

David H. Sliney
U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland 21010

David J. Lund
U.S. Army Medical Research Detachment, Brooks Air Force Base, Texas 78235

Wesley J. Marshall
U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Medicine, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland 21010

The spectral band between 400 and 700 nm is termed “visible” in laser safety standards, this is not the full extent of the visible spectrum. Light, or visible radiation, is that which is perceived by the human eye, and the spectral bandwidth for vision is really larger, extending into what some refer to as ultraviolet and infrared. This is important to recognize when speaking of visual effects such as after-images and glare. Several important questions arise with regard to this issue. The 400–700 nm spectral band was initially established as the extent of the spectral range for class 2 lasers, but should this spectral band be reconsidered? Indeed what laser wavelengths should be considered visible and what should be considered “invisible?”

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