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Subject: Laser pointers

Laser pointers

From: William Hall <wdh>
Date: Friday, December 3, 1999
Katy Untch <kuntch [at] vmfa__state__va__us> writes

>I've been asked to find out if other museums allow the use of Laser
>pointers in their galleries.  I'd be curious to know what other
>conservators think about the affect of laser pointers on works of
>art.  Is there any better method for a docent to use for pointing?

In my opinion this comes under the same category as flash. The
occasional use of a laser pointer for a few seconds, particularly if
it is moving around, makes very little difference to the total light
dose received by the object. In addition, most laser pointers are
red which is the least damaging part of the spectrum. The heating
effect of a pointer is not significant. I would have thought that
more damage could be done by the lecturer pointing/touching with
hand or stick. Obviously pointing a laser pointer at a fixed place
on vulnerable object for more than a few 10s of seconds would not be
a good idea.

William Hall
Littlemore Scientific (ELSEC), Oxford  UK
Manufacturer of environmental monitors for museums & art galleries
+44 1865 747437
Fax: +44 1865 747780

                  Conservation DistList Instance 13:33
                 Distributed: Friday, December 3, 1999
                       Message Id: cdl-13-33-004
Received on Friday, 3 December, 1999

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