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Old 12-08-2010, 10:46 PM   #1
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Thumbs down Wicked Lasers products not FDA approved

Not that it's any surprise to anyone, but according to this article that is now officially the case. It says in a link from a letter posted by the FDA last month that they may even request a list of people who've already had non-complaint lasers sold & shipped from WL. This of course would include the (in)famous Spyder III Arctic....

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Old 12-08-2010, 10:58 PM   #2
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Default Re: Wicked Lasers products not FDA approved

Actually, this was recently discussed at length here on LPF.. So far, basing my reply here solely on the hard evidence at hand, it *appears* that the Arctic is ok for import, the hard evidence being this form that was included with my Arctic:



HOWEVER there is still room for some doubt, since the form could be a sham.. It's the right form, but the info on it could be bogus.

It would be sweet if the FDA would publish a list of known portable/handheld lasers that are ILLEGAL beyond all doubt. If the Arctic has an accession number (the form says it does) and is approved by the FDA for import, then everyone who owns an Arctic is all good. If not, then all of the Arctics in the US are here illegally. Hopefully Wicked has actually done what's necessary to comply.. at least with the Arctics. I'm sure eventually time will tell.
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Old 12-08-2010, 11:11 PM   #3
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Default Re: Wicked Lasers products not FDA approved

The accession number for the Arctic is invalid and since it is a member of the Spyder family, it is among the lasers which have been found to be non-compliant.

EDIT: Look at the top of the form. Expiration date in 2003.
If the contents of this form are as fake as they appears to be, you may want to look at some of the genuine parts of it.. "Imprisoned no more than 5 years", "importing - $1000 per violation".
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Old 12-08-2010, 11:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: Wicked Lasers products not FDA approved

At least they are trying.
There are companies shipping in lasers with no attempt to
make them safe, but no one is posting complaints about them.

Where are the posts: Dragon Lasers, Rayfoss, O-Like, Boblaser, Lyvilaser, etc.
products are not FDA approved and the FDA is seeking customer lists?

I guess they get a pass because they make no claims to be compliant.

And do you really think the FDA has any power to order a customer list from a Chinese company?
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Old 12-08-2010, 11:43 PM   #5
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Default Re: Wicked Lasers products not FDA approved

@ZapU

WL poked the bear... They went head to head with Lucas... When Lucas says JUMP the US govt says "How High, oh Jedi Master?"
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Old 12-08-2010, 11:51 PM   #6
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Default Re: Wicked Lasers products not FDA approved

The amount sold, to who and where are for recall purposes. The FDA may request wicked laser recall their lasers, which wicked lasers won't do since they're in china.....and they don't care.

from the letter it looks like the they took away approval based on letters sent out in 2006 that WL never responded to?

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Old 12-08-2010, 11:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: Wicked Lasers products not FDA approved

Quote:
Originally Posted by TeufelWolf View Post
@ZapU

WL poked the bear... They went head to head with Lucas... When Lucas says JUMP the US govt says "How High, oh Jedi Master?"
Don't poke the bear!


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Old 12-09-2010, 12:23 AM   #8
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Default Re: Wicked Lasers products not FDA approved

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Originally Posted by ZapU View Post
At least they are trying.
Sending expired and half-omitted paperwork counts as trying?

EDIT: Also, I posted this exact same thread with FDA conversation transcripts in July and got flamed off the face of the planet and neg-repped by noobs. *sigh*

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Old 12-09-2010, 12:35 AM   #9
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Default Re: Wicked Lasers products not FDA approved

Don't get me wrong.. I have ZERO interest in debating the legality of these things, and I'm not saying that WL is right or wrong or whatever. What I am saying is that the only thing I've seen that deals directly with the legality of the Arctics specifically is that form, which was put there to get the laser past customs (successfully I might add). None of us here can say whether the accession number is valid or not without verifying it with the FDA specifically, which I haven't done yet.. An article on gizmodo is a far cry from the word of the FDA directly. We can speculate, but that has little real value.

As has been stated, WL is a Chinese company, which means they're not under much obligation to comply with the FDA. I would not be surprised to find that the accession number on the form above is not legit.
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Old 12-09-2010, 12:39 AM   #10
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Default Re: Wicked Lasers products not FDA approved

An accession number is a case number with the FDA (and is supposed to be confidential). I've no doubt that the accession number is valid - it's the case number tied to documentation WL sent. However, whenever a WL product was examined years ago and found to be non-compliant, the "innocent until proven guilty" permission to export to the U.S. was rescinded.

So I think they're now guilty until proven innocent...

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Old 12-09-2010, 12:40 AM   #11
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Default Re: Wicked Lasers products not FDA approved

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Originally Posted by twhite828 View Post
Sending expired and half-omitted paperwork counts as trying?
Trying to make their laser safe, yes.
At least there is a safety pin, an electronic lockout and a low power lens on the Arctic. What are the safety devices on the others I mentioned?
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Old 12-09-2010, 12:44 AM   #12
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Default Re: Wicked Lasers products not FDA approved

The safety pin on mine doesn't come out. Just saying. (Did you happen to notice that I do have one?)

About the other companies - they haven't launched massive advertising campaigns to attract customers with zero laser knowledge and tout how much the FDA loves them. I think the problem this thread is addressing is how WL is lying about the FDA thing.

-Trevor
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Old 12-09-2010, 12:49 AM   #13
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Default Re: Wicked Lasers products not FDA approved

Absolutely right. I have to ask though: Assuming that all of Wicked's lasers are illegal (which they probably are), where is the difference between buying an illegal laser form them or from BudgetGadgets, o-like, or any of the rest of them? There are a whole lot of people here who have illegal lasers.. hell, I've got an Arctic. I feel that setting the precedent of faking the act of "caring" about whether the portable lasers that so many of us own are legal or not might not be too wise in the long run given the interests of many members of the forum.. although on the other hand if import was better enforced it would be a call for us to channel our inner DIYers again.... this forum could use more of that these days.

That letter on the FDA site does seem rather damning though.. no doubt that could put a dent in their business.. but maybe not either since illegal lasers seem to be so easily obtained from other manus/suppliers too.
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Old 12-09-2010, 12:56 AM   #14
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Default Re: Wicked Lasers products not FDA approved

I think FDA is getting a little harsh and a bit edgy on WL. Wicked Lasers has the most safety features on their lasers compared to any of the other companies out there, even more features than jetlasers, yet they are not persecuting the other laser manufacturers but only persecute Wicked Laser, kind of wierd.

Wicked Laser quality has been good. The Core Series I bought more than 1 and half years ago is still doing fine, I even dropped it before at more than 1 metre height through an armoured tank, I wasn't careful when I bend forward, the velcro on my coverall wasn't strong. Up until now, it's still workign fine and it's still emitting an average power of 5-6mw on my nospin LPM for lasting for more than 10secs. If I replace my Lithium Energizers, I believe I can get even higher output.

Even after more than 1.5 years of using without changing batteries, it is still quite bright, I can shown it around my factory even during day time.
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Old 12-09-2010, 12:58 AM   #15
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Default Re: Wicked Lasers products not FDA approved

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElektroFreak View Post
Absolutely right. I have to ask though: Assuming that all of Wicked's lasers are illegal (which they probably are), where is the difference between buying an illegal laser form them or from BudgetGadgets, o-like, or any of the rest of them? There are a whole lot of people here who have illegal lasers.. hell, I've got an Arctic. I feel that setting the precedent of faking the act of "caring" about whether the portable lasers that so many of us own are legal or not might not be too wise in the long run given the interests of many members of the forum.. although on the other hand if import was better enforced it would be a call for us to channel our inner DIYers again.... this forum could use more of that these days.
Well, the reason I've been more concerned with WL is the fact that they've used viral marketing tactics to reach a very large, very ignorant market in terms of lasers.

I have no problem with you, ElektroFreak, owning a 1W handheld laser.

I have a problem with the Average Joe here on campus owning one and dicking around with it outside without understanding what's at stake.

-Trevor
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Old 12-09-2010, 01:00 AM   #16
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Default Re: Wicked Lasers products not FDA approved

Yeah twhite, I saw. And your advertising argument is valid.

Maybe we should take all the illegal lasers we own off our sigs. Who knows when the Feds will come knocking to retrieve them?
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Old 12-09-2010, 01:01 AM   #17
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Default Re: Wicked Lasers products not FDA approved

Quote:
Originally Posted by twhite828 View Post
Well, the reason I've been more concerned with WL is the fact that they've used viral marketing tactics to reach a very large, very ignorant market in terms of lasers.

I have no problem with you, ElektroFreak, owning a 1W handheld laser.

I have a problem with the Average Joe here on campus owning one and dicking around with it outside without understanding what's at stake.

-Trevor
Very valid concerns.. but out of all the class 4 445nm handheld lasers out right now I think that the Arctic might be the safest all around. The fact that you can kick the other ones on with a simple push of a switch has always made me cringe.. What if one gets left within reach of a small child? I'd rather have one with the smartswitch myself..
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Old 12-09-2010, 01:04 AM   #18
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Default Re: Wicked Lasers products not FDA approved

Quote:
Originally Posted by twhite828 View Post
Well, the reason I've been more concerned with WL is the fact that they've used viral marketing tactics to reach a very large, very ignorant market in terms of lasers.

I have no problem with you, ElektroFreak, owning a 1W handheld laser.

I have a problem with the Average Joe here on campus owning one and dicking around with it outside without understanding what's at stake.

-Trevor
I think this would be the case for educating the consumer and the general public. For instance, a knife can be double edge depending on the user. If the user has bad or unhealthy intentions, then it will become a weapon. IF the User use it for value creation, then it become's a chef's best friend, or a carpenter's.


Personally, I think even the smart switch on the Artic is a little too safe to operate. How about those DIYs with 1.8W and side clicky, are those even more dangerous.

For Wicked Advertisements, I will agree, I think it is quite dramatic, like a group of caucasian youths exploding a car merely by just shining the Artic (in broad day light some more), which is totally impossible, not even a 2Watts DIY could explode a car at night, let alone an Artic with one-third of the power. China way of perspective may be different from the rest of the world, I agree their advertisements aren't too healthy for the general public.

Some countries, the government thinks that chewing gum is bad for public cleanliness, where educating makes too much effort, they simply ban it. Take for example Singapore. If FDA ban Wicked, they will have to take all lasers manufacturers into considerations.
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Old 12-09-2010, 01:16 AM   #19
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Default Re: Wicked Lasers products not FDA approved

As others have stated, the main problem with WickedLasers is that they have reached a very large and uneducated market, and combined it with creating a false sense of safety through claiming that their lasers are FDA approved and providing laser goggles along with any Arctic purchase.
The lasers are NOT FDA approved and (EDIT: some of) the laser goggles are completely worthless, not even bringing the laser to a safe level on the low power mode of the Arctic.

In my opinion, it is far worse to sell something which is close to legal and claim is it completely legal, than to sell something illegal and never claim otherwise. Would you rather have a bunch of toys with lead-based paint sold by small street vendors, or a bunch of toys with a smaller amount of lead in the paint but still above allowed limits, sold in Toys R Us?

About the goggles.. I do hope that someone files a class action lawsuit against WL for personal damage.

Seb
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Last edited by Jaseth; 12-09-2010 at 02:04 AM.
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Old 12-09-2010, 01:20 AM   #20
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Default Re: Wicked Lasers products not FDA approved

^Can't argue with that..

It's a shame though.. I really do like the Arctic. I have a small daughter, and it's the only class 4 portable in the house.. by a long shot. The only other portable I've got is a 25mW blu-ray that I keep in my work area. To me portable lasers are exactly like guns, minus the lethality.
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Old 12-09-2010, 01:31 AM   #21
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Default Re: Wicked Lasers products not FDA approved

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaseth View Post
The lasers are NOT FDA approved and the laser goggles are completely worthless, not even bringing the laser to a safe level on the low power mode of the Arctic.

About the goggles.. I do hope that someone files a class action lawsuit against WL for personal damage.

Seb
Let's not go overboard. I measured the WL googles, read the G2 review in my sig. They let through about 2.5% of the beam on high power - 18mW. On lower power mode the Arctic puts out about 150mW. 2.5% is 3.75mW, hardly going to damage anyones eyes.

At 18mW someone would have to point the laser at their eye and stare at it for it to be dangerous. How many people even wear goggles holding a 18mW laser?
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Old 12-09-2010, 01:35 AM   #22
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Default Re: Wicked Lasers products not FDA approved

I agree ElektroFreak - I would love to have a coded activation switch on all my lasers similar to the one on the Arctic. Instead, I keep my lasers in a dual lock briefcase with the batteries stored separately. I have far too many people at my apartment every week to want to risk storing them less securely.

Seb

EDIT: Perhaps you were lucky with your goggles, ZapU. Several members have reported being able to light a match through their goggles, and easily seeing the beam on low power mode with the goggles on.
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Old 12-09-2010, 01:56 AM   #23
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Default Re: Wicked Lasers products not FDA approved

I can second what ZapU said. The goggles supplied with my laser are fairly effective. They do melt after some seconds of direct contact with the full-powered beam, but I measured 21mW after the goggles on full power, and a tiny fraction of that on low. That's quite a bit of energy being absorbed, but still the fact that the goggles melt is no good IMO and I don't think that they could ever be considered a true "professional" piece of safety gear.
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Old 12-09-2010, 02:08 AM   #24
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Default Re: Wicked Lasers products not FDA approved

The one lacking safety measure are the included glasses that WL provides. I have two Spyder 3's, and both came with the orange-lens glasses that show the dot as a dull blue/violet color. I finally got some real OD 4+ glasses, and they make the dot appear like a dim yellow. I'm glad I didn't take a reflected beam with the old glasses.
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Old 12-09-2010, 02:22 AM   #25
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Default Re: Wicked Lasers products not FDA approved

I agree the Laser Shades WL provides seems inadequate. Even with my OD+7 from Laser GLow, I still excercise extra caution with a Class IV.

The only reason why I think FDA would go so far out could probably as what you said, Wicked Lasers attempt to use FDA as a 'reason' to sell it as a 'safety' product to the US, which FDA didn't claim they have given any approval, or maybe they did before, but retracted the approval now due to some conflict in manufacturing agreement.

As far as I see, the safety features on the Artic is far over-whelming, just compare with Spartan 1W, I already find the Smart Switch a hassle to operate. I would love to have a side clicky that can give me the reaction time to burn what I want to burn, rather than to meddle with some code in order to turn it on, by the time, maybe the thing I wanted to burn could have already flown away.
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