Direct laser scanning of audiences should always be avoided

Exposing concert and other audiences to direct beams or scanning effects from lasers risks causing eye injuries among the onlookers. For this reason, radiation safety authorities of the Nordic countries – Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark – have together produced a recommendation and hereby issue a joint statement on avoiding direct laser scanning of audiences.

The joint statement emphasizes the high risks involved when exposing audiences to beams or scanning from lasers of laser classes 3B and 4. The output from these lasers is powerful enough to cause exposures that exceed limit values and consequently risk causing eye injuries. During direct laser scanning of an audience, even small mistakes can make this exposure hazardous.

"Without proper training and experience, there is a high risk of human error," says Martin Lindgren, an analyst at the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority.

The Icelandic Radiation Safety Authority, Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority, Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, and Danish Health Authority issue the below joint statement. Its purpose is to make international concert producers aware of regulations relating to lasers and to advise against exposing audiences to direct laser scanning from high-powered lasers.

"The intensity of the laser radiation should be measured to ensure that a concert audience is not exposed to harmful beams exceeding the maximum permitted levels," says Mr Lindgren.

For more information, please contact: Martin Lindgren, Analyst, Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, via the Authority’s duty press officer on  Tel. +46 8 799 40 20.