International standards for lasers and intense light sources used in medicine and aesthetics are written by the IEC and incorporated in Europe by the CEN or CENELEC and in Britain by the BSI. These standards are designed to ensure that manufacturers create (and companies sell) electrical products that are safe to use. Standards are supplemented by ‘technical reports’ which provide guidance for use of such products. Technical reports may be written directly for the consumer. Non-electrical products (for example laser or IPL safety goggles) are covered by the ISO. These product standards are where we find things such as laser classes (e.g. Class 3b and 4 lasers), details of laser and IPL eyewear markings, Maximum Permissible Exposures and tolerances on laser and IPL energy outputs. So what if a product doesn’t meet the standard? Whilst product standards do not inherently have a legal standing, the Control of Artificial Optical Radiation at Work Regulations 2010 states that “In carrying out the assessment, measurement or calculation, the employer must follow the following standards or recommendations— (a) for laser radiation, the standards of the IEC; or (b) for non-coherent radiation, the standards of the IEC and the recommendations of the CIE and the CEN.” Thus, standards MUST be considered in your risk assessments. For manufacturers, the Health and Safety at Work Etc. Act 1974 requires equipment suppliers to “design, manufacture and supply articles for use at work that are safe, so far as is reasonably practicable, in all reasonably foreseeable circumstances of use”. Not keeping to the standards could be seen as not fulfilling this requirement. There are also a number of organisations in the UK (including the BMLA) which publish recommendations to help the continual improvement of safe practice. For the benefit of our members and towards the improvement in safe use of lasers and light based equipment in medicine and aesthetics, the BMLA will be publishing a series of posts on standards and guidelines here on our website. Check again soon for the next installment!
British Medical Laser Association
DATE: 4th May 2017
Launch of the British Medical Laser Association (BMLA) “Essential Standards” for the safe use of laser & light sources in non-surgical aesthetic applications at the forthcoming BMLA Annual Conference
It is estimated that Non-surgical interventions such as treatments with Laser and IPL devices, account for 90% of all cosmetic procedures undertaken in the UK and contribute to 75% of the market value*. Despite the increasing abundance of laser/IPL clinics, in the vast majority of cases, the use of such devices for cosmetic treatments has not been regulated since 2010. Building upon previous work by Treatments you can Trust (TYCT), ALPHA – the Association of Laser Protection Advisers and HABIA – the Hair and Beauty Industry Association and encompassing key aspects of Laser/IPL standards produced by the Department of Health, the British Medical Laser Association in conjunction with TYCT are proud to announce the publication of the “Essential Standards” for the safe use of laser & light sources in non-surgical aesthetic applications.
The BMLA “Essential Standards” are specifically written to offer a clear and comprehensive set of industry standards for the use of non-surgical aesthetic application of Laser and IPL. In the absence of regulation, these standards provide the entire sector with the required guidance needed to implement best-practice and improve both patient and operator safety. The BMLA Essential Standards will be formally launched at their 35th Annual Conference to be held in Manchester (17th – 19th May).*Review of the Regulation of Cosmetic Interventions (Department of Health)
For Further information please contact Dr Jon Exley (Honorary Secretary of the BMLA) or Sally Taber (Director of Treatments you can Trust)
Email: JExley@Lynton.co.uk Tel: 07919 381431
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 07885 740500
The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) launched a new system of certification for cosmetic surgeons on Thursday, 12th January 2017. The RCS is urging all surgeons who perform cosmetic surgical procedures to apply for certification.
The purpose of the new certification scheme is to help raise standards and provide patients with a ‘quality mark’ to help identify a surgeon with the appropriate training and experience to perform a specific procedure, in different parts of the country.
Cosmetic surgery is not a defined surgical specialty and historically there haven’t been common standards available to the surgeons who perform it. The new system of certification will address this and allow the public and employers to distinguish highly qualified, experienced individuals, from those who are working without adequate insurance or the necessary specialist training.
To be eligible for certification surgeons must be on the General Medical Council’s (GMC) specialist register in a relevant specialty.
Applicants are required to submit a portfolio of evidence, showing how they meet the RCS requirements for certification.
Today, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended a treatment which could benefit around 13,000 men in England.
The majority of men over 60 years of age have non-cancerous growth of the prostate known as Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH). If this growth become symptomatic, they could be offered TURP (trans-urethral resection of the prostate) – where tissue is cut away using a thin, hot wire. This usually involves an overnight stay in hospital.
NICE has given its backing to the GreenLight XPS device which uses green laser light, passed down a thin fibre fed through the urethra, to vapourise excess prostate tissue. Unlike TURP, GreenLight XPS laser treatment can be done as a day case, meaning the patient does not have to stay in hospital overnight. This could potentially save the NHS millions of pounds.
Professor Carole Longson, from NICE, said: “Whilst benign enlarged prostates may not be life-threatening, the condition can impact on men’s lives significantly. A procedure to reduce the amount of excess prostate tissue can improve the quality of life for men.”
NICE added that there is not enough evidence yet to support its use for high risk patients. This includes those with an increased risk of bleeding, urinary retention or prostates larger than 100 ml.
Professor Carole Longson: “We recommend that specialists collaborate to collect and publish data if GreenLight XPS is used in treating enlarged prostates in men classed as high risk. This will help improve the evidence base and could enable future recommendations on its use in these patients.”
If you are using GreenLight XPS and wish to be involved in a collaborative study, please contact email@example.com.
A huge congratulations goes out to this year’s conference organisers. We were treated to three days of high class training; presentations from doctors, nurses, beauticians and scientists; and most importantly: debate! So many people commented on the unique and special atmosphere of the BMLA, where new attendees and seasoned experts feel equally welcomed and all of the work presented is treated with a healthy dose of respect and constructive criticism. Presentations covered a wide range of topics, including new techniques in laser surgery, an improved approach to calculating pulse-lengths, training requirements for laser practitioners, daylight PDT, laser genital rejuvination and results from picosecond laser tattoo removal. This year’s winner of the prestigious Oswal Oration prize was The Naked Scientist’s Dr Chris Smith. Chris provided a demonstration of his world class scientific communication skills with a hugely entertaining talk which had the audience laughing and thinking about science in equal measure. I can’t wait to try out the laser pointer microscope! Apprentice winner Leah Totton provided further celebrity appeal and gave an insightful talk on her approach to developing the laser clinic business. There were a number of excellent talks, with four in particular impressing the judges. Congratulations to Dimitris Reissis, Shramana Banerjee, Gemma Bale and Faisal Ali. Next year’s BMLA conference will be at The Lowry, Manchester on 17-19 May 2017. We look forward to seeing you there!