Safety Standards Published for Lasers, Computer Batteries

News Item 1: Updated Standard Covers Safe Use of Lasers

Lasers have become invaluable tools in today's technologically advanced society as evidenced by their widespread use in such diverse applications as medicine, manufacturing, communications, art and entertainment, data processing, and metrology. As a result of advancements in laser devices and applications, the Laser Institute of America (LIA), an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) organizational member and accredited standards developer, has recently released the updated standard, ANSI Z136.1 2007, American National Standard for Safe Use of Lasers.

ANSI Z136.1 is the cornerstone of the Z136 series of laser safety standards and is the foundation of laser safety programs for industrial, military, medical, and educational applications nationwide. The 2007 revision provides new guidelines for the safe use of lasers by defining control measures for different laser classifications. Additional updates include new laser hazard classification definitions, requirements for refresher training, and changes to medical surveillance requirements. ANSI Z136.1 also covers maximum permissible exposure, administrative and engineering control measures, and bioeffects, among other important considerations.

The LIA is an international society for laser applications and safety, and the organization is the secretariat and publisher of the ANSI Z136 series of standards, which are recognized by OSHA as the authoritative series of laser safety documents in the United States.

LIA: http://www.laserinstitute.org/

News Item 2: Standard Defines Performance Requirements for Computer Batteries

Portable computers, including laptops, hand-held devices and vehicle-mounted systems, have saturated the market in recent years. With their influx, a variety of safety standards have been implemented to protect consumers from possible hazards such as overheating batteries. In 2006, lithium-ion battery defects caused a widespread recall throughout the industry, prompting several standard development organizations to update related standards with more stringent safety requirements.

One such developer, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), recently published ANSI C18.2M, Part 2-2007, Portable Rechargeable Cells and Batteries -- Safety Standard. This standard defines performance requirements for portable, rechargeable cells and batteries to ensure their safe operation under a variety of user and environmental conditions. It includes information relevant to hazard avoidance and is specific to two distinct chemistry systems: lithium ion and nickel. ANSI C18.2M, Part 1-2007, Standard for Portable Rechargeable Cells and Batteries -- General and Specifications is a separate but complementary document that covers general information as well as specifications for performance and mechanical tests for various portable, rechargeable cells and batteries.

NEMA is a membership organization that works to standardize the generation, transmission and distribution, and end-use of electricity used in utility, medical imaging, industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential applications.

NEMA: http://www.nema.org/

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