LASER Classroom’s™ Laser Safety Compliance Guarantee
The NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) recently conducted tests that underscored the potential hazards of green laser pointers and highlighted the importance of considering laser safety when using lasers in the classroom.
Among the NIST’s findings, released on March 20, 2013, is that 90% of the green laser pointers purchased on the internet were found to be out of compliance with FDA Safety Regulations. So, I thought this may be a good time to share with you LASER Classroom’s Safety Compliance Guarantee.
It is distressing to see that statistic – right along side the daily reports of green laser pointers being used recklessly (think aimed at airplanes and motorists). I am especially disappointed to see this kind of news given LASER Classroom’s™ mission: To make the science of light, lasers and optics accessible, engaging and fun for students and teachers so that youth are empowered and prepared to enter the 21st century workforce.
Many teachers use laser pointers, both green laser pointers and red laser pointers to engage students in STEM by teaching about light, lasers and optics – a growing field that is advancing the scientific and technological capacity of industries ranging from communications and data storage to medicine, defense and manufacturing. Meanwhile, finding a safety compliant laser pointer is apparently not so easy… or, actually, it is – if you know where to look.
Out of compliance with FDA safety regulations means one, or both, of two things:
- The power output of the green laser pointer exceeds the output printed on the safety label
(either <1mW for class II laser pointers or <5mW for class IIIa laser pointers)
- The green laser pointer emits non-visible 808nm infrared light
Power output limits are established, in part, by the speed of the “look away reflex”. At less than 5mW of power output – the legal limit for ALL laser pointers – the eye will reflexively look away from the laser quickly enough to prevent accidental damage. Like other science lab equipment, safety compliant laser pointers must still be used with care and discretion; however, this power output limit protects against accidental harm. Class II laser pointers like our super safe green laser pointer or super safe green LASER Blox™, are limited to
Infra red light (808nm) is pumped through a medium to create a green laser pointer. Is IR light is not visible, so there is no point at which the look away reflex can offer protection prior to injury. If a green laser pointer emits 808nm infra red light, it is not safe. LASER Classroom’s™ green laser poitners and LASER Blox™ are made with an IR filter which ensures that no IR escapes. Many of the 90% of green laser pointers tested by the NIST either do not contain a filter or contain a filter that is not fitted properly and allows leakage of IR 808nm laser light.
At LASER Classroom™, we are fully committed to the safety and compliance of our laser products. We work only with the most reputable manufacturers, with whom we have had relationships for more than 10 years in the laser pointers buisness. These manufacturers conduct extensive safety testing for both power output and IR filter placement. We receive the data at our warehouse in Winona, MN where our staff conducts spot testing on each shipment recieved to ensure continued complaince. LASER Classroom™ guarantees that our green laser pointers are fully compliant with all FDA safety regulations.