Parent Safety Alert!
Teenagers May be Purchasing Eye Sight Damaging Laser Products Over the Internet
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found some unscrupulous Internet stores are selling laser products that are overpowered and can potentially cause eye damage and blindness if used in an improper manner. Some lasers approved as medical devices only due to their power and potential for vision damage if used improperly are also being sold on the consumer online market.
Overpowered green lasers are a particular point of concern. Green pointer lasers appear much brighter even at the same power level so boosting them power supply appears to have more effect. They evidently are somewhat easier to work with. Most of the aircraft incidents of lasers being projected into the cockpit have been green lasers.
Lasers are classified from level 1 through 4 with level one having no detrimental effects known. Level 3 and 4 will damages unprotected eyes when aimed at vital structures such as the retina.
What you can do to protect yourself and family is to follow the below suggestions:
- Never aim or shine a laser pointer at anyone.
- Don’t buy laser pointers for your children.
- Before purchasing a laser pointer, make sure it has the following information on the label:
- a statement that it complies with Chapter 21 CFR (the Code of Federal Regulations)
- the manufacturer or distributor’s name and the date of manufacture
- a warning to avoid exposure to laser radiation
- the class designation, ranging from Class I to IIIa. Class IIIb and IV products should be used only by individuals with proper training and in applications where there is a legitimate need for these high-powered products.
Generally small laser pointers are low powered and very safe. Be sure you know what you are purchasing and that it will be used in a safe manner.