Machinedesign 5860 11327smlaserdange 0

Danger: Red and green laser pointers

April 25, 2013
After testing 122 commercially available laser pointers, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology found that 90% of the green and 44% of the red pointers did not comply with federal safety regulations. In fact, they often emitted more power than allowed, and green lasers also tended to put out unacceptable levels of IR light as well.

After testing 122 commercially available laser pointers, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology found that 90% of the green and 44% of the red pointers did not comply with federal safety regulations. In fact, they often emitted more power than allowed, and green lasers also tended to put out unacceptable levels of IR light as well.

A NIST safety officer and the device used to measure the properties of handheld laser pointers.

The tests used randomly selected commercial devices labeled as Class III or 3R and sold as suitable for demonstrations in classrooms and other public spaces. These lasers are limited under the Code of Federal Regulations to 5 mW in the visible portion of light and less than 2 mW of IR light. But half the pointers exceeded twice that limit at one or more wavelengths, with one putting out 66 mW, more than 10 times the legal limit.

According to ANSI, lasers that exceed the federal limits should be subject to more rigorous controls, such as user training, to prevent injuries.

Resources: National Institute of Standards and Technology

Sponsored Recommendations

A closer look at modern design considerations for food and beverage

April 9, 2024
With new and changing safety and hygiene regulations at top of mind, its easy to understand how other crucial aspects of machine design can get pushed aside. Our whitepaper explores...

Cybersecurity and the Medical Manufacturing Industry

April 9, 2024
Learn about medical manufacturing cybersecurity risks, costs, and threats as well as effective cybersecurity strategies and essential solutions.

Condition Monitoring for Energy and Utilities Assets

April 9, 2024
Condition monitoring is an essential element of asset management in the energy and utilities industry. The American oil and gas, water and wastewater, and electrical grid sectors...

Strategizing for sustainable success in material handling and packaging

April 9, 2024
Download our visual factory brochure to explore how, together, we can fully optimize your industrial operations for ongoing success in material handling and packaging. As your...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Machine Design, create an account today!