Shedding light on lasers

Shedding light on lasers

An article in the 15 September 2013 edition of the Sunday Tasmanian on tattoo removal implied Tasmania had no regulation of lasers.

This is incorrect. Tasmania has regulated the use of lasers since 1977. This regulation continues under the Radiation Protection Act 2005 and addresses areas such as hair removal and skin rejuvenation.

Additionally, in 2012, Tasmania became the first state or territory to regulate the use of Intense Pulsed Lights (IPLs) for cosmetic purposes. IPLs are similar to lasers but are not authorised for use to remove tattoos.

To be authorised to use a laser or IPL for cosmetic procedures, medical and non-medical practitioners must show they have knowledge of relevant skin biology, laser or IPL safety, and have had training on the equipment they wish to use.

Also, non-medical operators of lasers and IPLs must have a documented relationship with a registered medical practitioner who can assess skin lesions with malignant potential, and manage adverse outcomes.

Regulation also means the rooms where lasers and IPLs are used must be registered, with conditions designed to ensure the client, the operator and the public are protected from the potential optical hazards caused by lasers and IPLs.

Dr Mark Veitch

Acting Director of Public Health