This text was designed for the physicians, nurses, technical personnel, and staff members of medical facilities using lasers for surgical, therapeutic, and diagnostic purposes. The objective is to provide an understanding of the potential health and safety hazards associated with the use of medical laser systems and the precautions needed to use them safely. To do this, it is necessary to have an awareness of applicable standargs and regula- tions that apply to laser use. This book is not intended as a substitute for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z-136. 3, "Safe Use of Lasers in Health Care Facilities," but to facilitate its implementation as well as the implementation of the many other related regulations and guidelines that are pertinent. These other regulations include the Medical Device Amendments to the Food and Drug Act, the Federal Laser Product Performance Standards issued under the Radiation Control for Health and Safety Act, and applicable regulations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The text is organized to provide first an overview of laser hazards, laser surgical applications, and laser biological effects. General safety control measures and safety standards are then presented. Because laser tech- nology is rapidly evolving, these general guidelines will allow safe use of new laser systems as they become available. Finally, specific safety guide- lines and precautions are provided for specialized laser applications in the different health care specialties.