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Old 10-26-2011, 02:24 PM #1
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Default How worried should i be

Hiya all.

I got a cheapy 5mw Green laser from ebay and i heard these can be dangerous as they dont contain a Infrared Filter.

I know about the basic like dont look at the beam watch reflections etc.

But i shined it a few feet in front of me on a cardboard box and a door for a short period do you think the IR could Damage my eyes from a invisible reflection?

Thanks all for the help.



Last edited by Karlm; 10-26-2011 at 02:30 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 10-26-2011, 03:05 PM #2
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Default Re: How worried should i be

Just worried the IR might of reflected of the TV or some Metal as i heard the IR is not concentrated and i was not far away.
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Old 10-26-2011, 03:09 PM #3
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Default Re: How worried should i be

Probably not much of a worry on a 5 mW pointer... Just keep the beam and reflections out of your eyes and you'll be fine... Not only is the IR not very well focused it will be with the green beam and you will see the green if it reflects off anything..

Just a word of warning usually those eBay cheapies are overspec and it's probably more powerful than 5 mW so be careful with it.
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Old 10-26-2011, 03:13 PM #4
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Default Re: How worried should i be

You really have nothing to worry about. The IR is typically not very collimated, and as such the not an issue except at higher powers.

This is also true of specular reflection, but of course it is VERY uncomfortable to look at the dot of a high powered laser from up close.

Of course follow proper safety, and be careful about any reflections. Also if the laser ever stops working, NEVER look into it, as the IR diode actually powering the green laser is much more powerful.

If the dot feels uncomfortable to look at... don't look at it

Last edited by InfinitusEquitas; 10-26-2011 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 10-26-2011, 03:14 PM #5
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Default Re: How worried should i be

Thanks for the reply i appreciate it.

Think i might be being paranoid but better safe than sorry.

If damage did happen what are the signs would it be instant?

Cheers

Karl

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guyfromhe View Post
Probably not much of a worry on a 5 mW pointer... Just keep the beam and reflections out of your eyes and you'll be fine... Not only is the IR not very well focused it will be with the green beam and you will see the green if it reflects off anything..

Just a word of warning usually those eBay cheapies are overspec and it's probably more powerful than 5 mW so be careful with it.
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Old 10-26-2011, 03:17 PM #6
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Default Re: How worried should i be

Thanks for the reply

Yep i was intending on using it safely and then read that these cheaper pointers can be dangerous because of the lack of a filter.

Then i realised i shined it in front of me at not much distance and worried about invisible reflections of infrared from objects in the room that the unconcentrated IR could of hit

Karl

Quote:
Originally Posted by InfinitusEquitas View Post
You really have nothing to worry about. The IR is typically not very collimated, and as such the not an issue except at higher powers.

This is also true of specular reflection, but of course it is VERY uncomfortable to look at the dot of a high powered laser from up close.

Of course follow proper safety, and be careful about any reflections. Also if the laser ever stops working, NEVER look into it, as the IR diode actually powering the green laser is much more powerful.

If the dot feels uncomfortable to look at... don't look at it
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Old 10-26-2011, 03:21 PM #7
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Default Re: How worried should i be

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karlm View Post
Thanks for the reply i appreciate it.

Think i might be being paranoid but better safe than sorry.

If damage did happen what are the signs would it be instant?

Cheers

Karl

Well if it's actually 5mW or very close you would likely blink before it had a chance to do damage... However if it's considerably more powerful and you got it in your eye the damage (if it occurred) would be instant. (The FDAs 5mW rating is based on a completely dilated pupil (7mm) with a 50% chance of damage so there are lots of factors)

Anyway if you had damage you would likely see a small black spot (might be hard to find), headache, nausea, afterimages (like when you get a flash picture taken)... None of these guarantee permanent damage it's also possible to cause temporary problems without actually burning holes in your retina but if you think you have damage you should see a doctor to confirm and treat it.
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Old 10-26-2011, 03:23 PM #8
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Default Re: How worried should i be

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guyfromhe View Post
Well if it's actually 5mW or very close you would likely blink before it had a chance to do damage... However if it's considerably more powerful and you got it in your eye the damage (if it occurred) would be instant. (The FDAs 5mW rating is based on a completely dilated pupil (7mm) with a 50% chance of damage so there are lots of factors)

Anyway if you had damage you would likely see a small black spot (might be hard to find), headache, nausea, afterimages (like when you get a flash picture taken)... None of these guarantee permanent damage it's also possible to cause temporary problems without actually burning holes in your retina but if you think you have damage you should see a doctor to confirm and treat it.
Cheers again

Thanks nope i dont have any reason to think i got any damage.

Just mainly worried about the IR, that i heard you dont feel on your eyes.

Just another questiin
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Old 10-26-2011, 03:27 PM #9
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Default Re: How worried should i be

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karlm View Post
Cheers again

Thanks nope i dont have any reason to think i got any damage.

Just mainly worried about the IR, that i heard you dont feel on your eyes.

Just another questiin
If it damaged your eye the symptoms would be the same you just wouldn't see the light... IR isn't magic it's still light... It's coming out the same hole as the green so it would be nearly impossible to accidentally bonce the IR without bouncing the green... If you get the green in your eye you will blink...

Just keep the laser out of your eye and don't worry too much about it.


EDIT: Also keep it out of your nose, ears, and other orifices
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Last edited by Guyfromhe; 10-26-2011 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 10-26-2011, 03:29 PM #10
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Default Re: How worried should i be

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guyfromhe View Post
Just keep the laser out of your eye and don't worry too much about it.
LMFAO!

Love that bit of safety advice.
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Old 10-26-2011, 03:30 PM #11
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Default Re: How worried should i be

Ok Gotcha thats a relief.

Thanks for your help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guyfromhe View Post
If it damaged your eye the symptoms would be the same you just wouldn't see the light... IR isn't magic it's still light... It's coming out the same hole as the green so it would be nearly impossible to accidentally bonce the IR without bouncing the green... If you get the green in your eye you will blink...

Just keep the laser out of your eye and don't worry too much about it.
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Old 10-26-2011, 05:01 PM #12
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Default Re: How worried should i be

I have one last stupid question.

Say i am at one end of the room in the dark shining the green laser on my Curtains is it safe to look at the green dot from the end of the room.

Cheers
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Old 10-26-2011, 05:06 PM #13
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Default Re: How worried should i be

Quote:
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I have one last stupid question.

Say i am at one end of the room in the dark shining the green laser on my Curtains is it safe to look at the green dot from the end of the room.

Cheers
Just don't shine the dot in your eye and you'll be fine... If only people with 1 watt lasers were this worried about safety sheeh...

Honestly you could probably shine the damn thing in your eye for 10 seconds and not do any damage (DO ___NOT___ DO THIS!!! DO NOT TEMPT FATE!).
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Old 10-26-2011, 05:08 PM #14
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Default Re: How worried should i be

Thanks and sorry for all the questions just my sight is important hehe.

I would not be so worried if i knew these Cheap China lasers came with IR Filter and correct power like you said it could be well above lol

Cheers

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Old 10-26-2011, 05:21 PM #15
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Default Re: How worried should i be

Quote:
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Thanks and sorry for all the questions just my sight is important hehe.

I would not be so worried if i knew these Cheap China lasers came with IR Filter and correct power like you said it could be well above lol

Cheers

Karl
Just be the slightest bit cautious with it (Don't do anything deliberately stupid with it) and you won't have anything to worry about.. When you upgrade to a higher powered laser than you can get really worried about the output and start getting involved with safety glasses...

Read this site if you want to learn more: Laser Pointer Safety - Independent resource on handheld portable lasers
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Old 10-26-2011, 09:36 PM #16
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Default Re: How worried should i be

unless you hold it up to your eye like a dumbass you should be fine, but still wouldn't let kids play with it
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