The Physical and Health Risks Associated with Laser Cutting Helen Mayfield December 9, 2016 Business Across the manufacturing industries, laser cutting is commonly regarded as the most effective and most efficient means of both cutting and engraving a wide variety of materials; much better, at least, than machine blades. Indeed, the action with laser cutting is far more precise; and these machines are typically much smaller, which means less space requirements and fewer concerns over pending risks. But no matter the quality of your Cancam laser cutter—and the way it can improve the work you do—it is always important to remember that this is, at the end of the day, a machine. Every machine—even the safest in the world—always carry some type of associated risk to the user. Sure, the serious risks may be much lower—especially if you always follow the proper safety protocols—but you should still always be aware of the potential risks. The Physical Risks of Using Laser Cutting Tools Even though a laser cut is not made of metal, the fact that it can “cut” through material—like metal or plastic—means there is always a cutting risk to the user. Anything that can cut through such substantial textiles can likely do much greater damage to human tissue (skin, muscle, even bone). Obviously, then, it is very important to always wear safety goggles to protect your eyes and gloves to protect your hands. Smocks and masks can also be a good idea. The Health Risks of Using Laser Cutting Tools While it may be easier to identify the physical risks associated with laser cutting procedures, the associated health risks are a little more difficult to understand. They are pretty easy to identify, though, if you know what to look for. Cutting through any material with a laser means that the cut is smooth with no residue or even noise. Sure, this is a much more clean means for cutting rubber, iron, steel, plastic, and more, but there is an inherent danger that you cannot see. Burning through materials, with a laser, is essentially the same thing as melting them and that also often means a chemical property change, as well. These chemical changes can be not only a bit noxious but can, in fact, be very dangerous too. Knowing this, then, it is exceedingly important to exercise caution if you suffer from allergies or asthma or another [somewhat serious] respiratory condition. And also be sure to wear the proper protective give and use the appropriate safety measures if and when handling materials in this way.