IRED Blindness

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by jpanhalt, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. jpanhalt

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    A current thread posits warnings about the health risks of IRED's.

    Sure, a strong enough infrared laser could burn one's eyes and cause blindness, but is that a realistic risk from infrared LED's?

    Well, Google was not my friend this time. There are lots of unsubstantiated claims on both sides of that argument, such as:

    http://www.ehow.com/about_5461092_infrared-light-dangers.html
    http://www.ehow.com/facts_6142267_infrared-light-effect-eyes.html

    In the US, our regulations for lasers apparently exclude LED's. The IEC has standards that are said to apply to IRED's (IEC 62471 (2006) and
    CIE S009:2002), but unfortunately, those standards can only be reviewed at some an appreciable cost. (OT: I have no problem with charging a corporation for certification of compliance, but I do feel that certain categories of information should in the public domain, such as health and safety standards.)

    Which gets to the point of this thread:

    Does anyone have credible, quantitative data to support concerns over eye damage caused by IRED's?


    John
     
  2. Wendy

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    Mar 24, 2008
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    Last batch I bought had a warning attached. Not that it means much, but there are some concerns out there.

    I am interested in the facts, but until then it is better to err on the side of caution.
     
  3. bertus

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  4. jpanhalt

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    I am sure we we see a lot of opinions and conflicting opinions. As an example of how meaningless such opinions become, the first two links on ehow.com that I gave give virtually diametrically opposed views on the risks.

    As for causing cataracts, let's see the data. I found no studies at near IR, but at 1035 nm, the risks have not been demonstrated (http://abstracts.iovs.org/cgi/content/abstract/44/5/294). I am tied up most of today, but will search later in the medical literature for studies in the usual IRED range.

    In a nutshell, what does the IEC/CEI say about LED's?

    John
     
  5. bertus

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  6. t06afre

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  7. jpanhalt

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    I finished my shop move today, almost, so just looked at the NLM website. First search, "infrared eye damage." Not a single hit for LED's. The only reported damage was by laser and usually at longer wavelengths than produced by the IRED's of concern here.

    Second search, "infrared LED eye damage," produced one hit.

    1) My question dealt with unsubstantiated statements on this forum regarding the risks of IRED's, not lasers.
    2) The IRED's in question emitted near IR, not >1200nm.
    3) An important health-related standard is out there that costs between $28 and $300 (full version). Based on the lack of scientific publications demonstrating any damage whatsoever for the devices described here, I suspect the publisher of that standard is more interested in the revenue than in actually preventing harm to humans.

    My questions remain:

    1) Does anyone know what that standard says about IRED's? NB: An excerpt or paraphrase is protected by the fair use doctrine.
    2) Does anyone have any DATA (published or unpublished) related to this question?

    John
     
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