Standardisation work

Laser, LED & Lamp Safety

ICNIRP – Biological Limits for Eye and Skin


Limits for the exposure of the eye and the skin (”Maximum permissible exposure“, ”exposure limits“) are established by the experts group ICNIRP on an international level. These ”biological“ limits are in a complex way dependent on the wavelength of the optical radiation, on the duration of the pulse/exposure, on the retinal image diameter and on the pulse pattern.

We have characterised some of the dependencies of the injury thresholds in our research projects, the results of which are the basis for some of the 2013 changes of the exposure limits as promulgated by ICNIRP (see also publications in download section). In comparison to the dependencies of the injury thresholds, the exposure limits still represent simplifications. The head of our expert group, Karl Schulmeister, has been involved in earlier and 2013 ICNIRP guideline revisions.

The ICNIRP guidelines and statements can be downloaded free of charge at the ICNIRP website.

The exposure limits for the eye and the skin, which are recommended by ICNIRP on an international level are on the one hand adopted by the IEC for technical product safety standards, on the other hand they are often adopted for work place in the legal framework of health and safety at the workplace. This particularly applies to Europe, where the ICNIRP exposure limits are used in the European directive of 2006 on artificial optical radiation (the content of the directive had to be adopted in national law in all European member states).