Abstract

Hazards from the optical radiation of an operating microscope that cause damage at the corneal, lenticular, and retinal levels were investigated; we considered, in particular, ultraviolet radiation (UVR) and blue light. The spectral irradiance from a Zeiss operation microscope OPMI VISU 200 was measured in the corneal plane between 300 and 1100 nm. Effective irradiance and radiance were calculated with relative spectral effectiveness data from the American Conference for Governmental and Industrial Hygienists. Safe exposure time to avoid UVR injury to the lens and cornea was found to be 2 h without a filter, 4 h with a UVR filter, 200 h with a yellow filter, and 400 h with a filter combination. Safe exposure time to avoid retinal photochemical injury was found to be 3 min without a filter and with a UVR filter, 10 min with a yellow filter, and 49 min with a filter combination. The effective radiance limit for retinal thermal injury was not exceeded. The hazard due to the UVR component from the operating microscope is not critical, and operation time can be safely prolonged with the use of appropriate filters. The retinal photochemical hazard appears critical without appropriate filters, permitting only some minutes of safe exposure time. The calculated safe exposure times are for worst-case conditions and maximal light output and include a safety factor.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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