Hazards and effects of exposure



Non-laser optical radiation is common in the working environment. Employees may be exposed to both radiation emitted by natural sources (sun, sky, moon, etc.) and artificial. Among the artificial sources of this radiation there are many such, whose emission can be harmful to human health but also many whose radiation is not hazardous to the workers. And so any light source used for lighting purposes, a screen monitor, indicator or light siren in devices and machines are sources of optical radiation, but if they are used as intended, they do not pose a health hazard. In contrast, a number of technological processes require the use of specialized sources of high-power optical radiation or optical radiation during these processes is a by-product (eg welding, metallurgical furnaces) and then emit radiation that can cause adverse effects on the health of the employee. For this reason, the number of identified hazards with this radiation at workplaces reflects only a part of the work stations where this radiation occurs. In addition, statistics include only exposure to artificial sources of this radiation.


It is estimated that the number of employees working in hazardous conditions caused by artificial optical radiation in workplaces is approx. 100,000. people, and the professional exposure to artificial optical radiation (non-laser and laser) occurs on over 120,000 workplaces in Poland, of which only about 90,000 are exposed to ultraviolet radiation. [European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, Report of Project P-06-07 Emerging risks report on ultraviolet radiation, Bilbao, 2006]. The above data do not include statistics on exposure to visible radiation. In particular, these are people employed in the metallurgical, metallurgical, printing, furniture, chemical, electronic, pharmaceutical or food industries, as well as in construction, trade and repairs, health care facilities and beauty salons. In many workplaces in workplaces where there is exposure to optical radiation no exposure measurements have been made so far there is no data on the threat existing there and these data do not appear in the statistics collected by the Central Statistical Office. The most numerous professional groups employed in these positions include welders, metallurgists, printing machines operators (contact printing, screen printing, etc.), phototherapists, scientific and technical staff performing experiments and measurements using this radiation, as well as employees employed in the food and pharmaceutical industry, chemical, etc., where bactericidal lamps are used.