For a school or business, projectors are a great way to show and spread information. Because their widespread use, however, administrators often overlook the health risks associated with using projectors. Most of these risks stem from the high-intensity light that is emitted from the projector lens, which can be very damaging to the human eye.
The most significant health risk surrounding the use of projectors is damage to the eyes. Even a few seconds of direct exposure to the high-intensity light generated by a projector can have a damaging effect on your retinas, or the parts of the eyes that converts light into electrical signals.
Eye Aversion Response
Luckily, some of the risks of projector use are mitigated by what is called the "eye aversion response." This reflex causes anyone exposed to this kind of damaging light to immediately look away.
Peripheral Retinal Damage
Unfortunately, the eye aversion response is only active when the light is shined directly on the retina. However, the peripheral vision can be exposed to the high-intensity light, and the eye aversion response often does not function.
Those at Risk
The people most at risk are often the presenters. Normally, presentations are oriented so that the audience can see the projected image, which requires that their backs are to the damaging light coming directly from the projector. Since the presenter needs to face the audience, however, the damaging light is shined directly in their eyes.
Reducing the Risk
In order to keep yourself safe, the best practice is to keep your back to the projector beam, which prevents any of the damaging light from entering your eyes. When you must face the projector, it's important to keep your eyes averted from the projector beam.
- Photo Credit projector ready for presentation image by Dmitry Goygel-Sokol from Fotolia.com