Laser and Optical Radiation
Nonionizing, electromagnetic radiation at wavelengths in the ranges from 100 nanometers to 1 millimeter representing ultraviolet radiation, visible light, and infrared radiation (i.e., wavelengths that affect the
eye and skin). Potential sources of optical radiation include lasers and high-intensity optical sources (HIOS) (e.g., spotlights).
Request an NRPS for all applicable laser and optical radiation sources. The NRPS documents the laser system's classification (i.e., Class 1, 1M, 2, 2M, 3R, 3B, or 4) and appropriate control measures1,2,3,4,5. Provide all available system information such as the name and model, serial number, wavelength, average and/or maximum power or energy, divergence, initial beam diameter, and pulse information (e.g., pulse width, frequency). Identify details about the system's normal use (e.g., how it's used, Soldier locations, mounting platform) and safety features.
Health Protection Criteria
Army systems comply to the greatest extent possible with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements and with the accessible emission limits (AELs) and maximum permissible exposure (MPE) limits1,2,3,4. Some laser products are declared military-exempt, meaning they are specifically exempted from one or more FDA requirements due to military mission need6. Military-exempt systems must still include alternate controls to eliminate or control hazards5,7.
Radio Frequency Radiation
electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength from about 1 millimeter (about 300
gigahertz (GHz)) to static fields (0 hertz).
Request an NRPS for all applicable radio frequency radiation (RFR) sources. In lieu of an NRPS, provide adequate data that supports an assessment. Provide all available radio frequency emitter information such as the emitter name and model, serial number, frequency, average output power, antenna gain, duty factor, beam width, and aperture area. Emitter information can be obtained from DD Form 1494, the manufacturers' technical manuals, or the FCC8. Identify details about the system's normal use (e.g., how it's used, Soldier locations, antenna height, elevation angle) and safety features.
Health Protection Criteria
Guidance for protection of personnel to RFR includes information such as MPE limits, warning sign formats, and recommended practices for safety programs9,10. There are no expectations that any adverse health effects result from exposures that are below the MPE limits, even under repeated or long-term exposure conditions. A minimum safety factor of 10 is incorporated into these standards. These MPEs are also assessed with reference to spatial and temporal averaging.
Charged, subatomic particles and ionized atoms
with kinetic energies greater than 12.4 electronvolts (eV), electromagnetic
radiation with photon energies greater than 12.4 eV, and all free neutrons and
other uncharged subatomic particles (except neutrinos and antineutrinos). When
ionizing radiation passes through material, it can deposit enough energy to
produce ions by breaking molecular bonds and displacing (or removing) electrons
from atoms or molecules.
Provide detailed information about all sources of ionizing radiation prior to purchase and use by the Army. Identify details about the system's normal use (e.g., Soldier locations, exposure duration and frequency, expected radiation dose rates) and controls implemented to keep exposures ALARA. Identify the types, quantities, and radiological characteristics of all radioactive material (RAM) and ionizing radiation-generating devices.
Health Protection Criteria
Army life cycle management implements ionizing radiation safety requirements and exposure limit criteria for personnel potentially exposed to ionizing radiation2,11,12,13. The primary limit is an effective whole-body dose not exceeding 50 millisievert (5000 millirem) per year11. A U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) license or Army Radiation Authorization (ARA) must be in place to support acquisition for most RAM.
For more information and guidelines for assessing radiation energy health hazards, see Technical Guide 351B, Health Hazard Assessor's Guide, Volume 2: Radiation Energy.
(1) DOD. 2007. Instruction 6055.15, DOD Laser Protection Program.
(2) DA. 2017. Regulation 385-10, The Army Safety Program.
(3) International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). 2014. IEC 60825-1:2014, Safety of laser products -- Part 1: Equipment classification and requirements.
(4) U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 2020. Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21, Subchapter J, Radiological Health.
(5) American National Standards (ANSI). 2014. ANSI Z136.1-2014, Safe Use of Lasers, Laser Institute of America: Orlando, Florida.
(6) APHC. 2020. Technical Information Paper 24-108-0420, Military Laser Exemption from U.S. Food and Drug Administration Requirements.
(7) DOD. 1991. Military Standard 1425A, DOD Design Criteria Standard: Safety Design Requirements for Military Lasers and Associated Support Equipment. Notice 1, 29 March 2010.
(8) Federal Communications Commission (FCC). 2020. Equipment Authorization Approval Guide.
(9) DOD. 2009. Instruction 6055.11, Protecting Personnel from Electromagnetic Fields. Incorporating Change 2, August 31, 2018.
(10) Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). C95 Standards: Safety Levels with Respect to Human Exposure To Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Fields.
(11) DA. 2009. Pamphlet 385-24, The Army Radiation Safety Program.
(12) DOD. 2009. Instruction 6055.08, Occupational Ionizing Radiation Protection Program, incorporating change 2, August 31, 2019.
(13) Code of Federal Regulations. 2015. Title 10, Part 20, Standards for Protection Against Radiation.