Assessment of the optical radiation hazard from a home-use intense pulsed light (IPL) source

Ewan Eadie (Lead / Corresponding author), Paul Miller, Teresa Goodman, H Moseley

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Objectives
Intense pulsed light (IPL) systems have evolved and crossed over from the clinic to the home. Studies have shown home‐use IPLs to be clinically effective but there has been no published data on ocular safety. It was our aim to measure the spectral and temporal optical radiation output from a home‐use IPL and assess the ocular hazard.

Materials and Methods
The iPulse Personal is a new home‐use IPL hair reduction system. We measured its optical radiation spectral output using a calibrated diode array spectrometer that was traceable to national standards. Pulse duration was determined by measurement with a fast photodiode. The results from these measurements were used to assess the optical radiation hazard to the human eye. Retinal thermal hazard (RTH), blue light hazard (BLH), and infrared radiation hazard to the cornea and lens were assessed in accordance with IEC TR 60825‐9 and the International Committee on Non‐Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) Guidelines on Limits of Exposure to Broad‐band Incoherent Optical Radiation, as there are no specific international IPL standards.

Neither the BLH radiance dose nor the infrared radiation hazard to the cornea and lens irradiance exceeded the exposure limit values (ELVs) set by the ICNIRP. The RTH radiance, however, was exceeded at a fluence of 11 J cm−2 and pulse duration of 16 milliseconds. Following these results the settings on the IPL were adjusted and the RTH was no longer exceeded at a new fluence of 10 J cm−2 and pulse duration of 26 milliseconds.

The home‐use device that we assessed does not present an optical hazard according to currently available international standards.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)534-539
Number of pages6
JournalLasers in Surgery and Medicine
Issue number7
Early online date28 Jul 2009
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2009


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