Risk for general public in the use of handheld laser pointers


  • Francesco Frigerio Fondazione Salvatore Maugeri - Centro di Ricerche Ambientali, Via Salvatore Maugeri, 10 - 27100 Pavia, Italy; Ph. ++39 0382 592318; Fax. ++39 0382 592072




Laser, pointers, risk, visible


Four handheld laser pointers, randomly found on market benches in Italy, were tested comparing the information provided in the safety labels (when present) with actual power and wavelength output. Three out of the four lasers claimed compliance with the American Food and Drug Administration Standard which, for handheld pointers allows higher power levels than permitted by the Italian regulation. In the case of the green pointer, relevant emission at 1064 nm was measured, including a thermal damage risk that could trigger fires in particular situations. All the tested devices showed
Accessible Energy Levels higher than expected, even if depending on the charge of the batteries, and well above the exposure limit values established by the International Commission on Non Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).


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