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Old 09-02-2013, 07:20 PM #1
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Default Portable Laser Systems FDA

I'm sure this topic has been discussed before, but in light of these new events occurring...

The FDA website clearly states:

"Can battery-operated, portable laser systems be sold in the U.S?

Yes, battery-operated, portable laser systems can be sold in the U.S., providing that they fully comply with the standard, are certified and reported, and are not Class IIIb lasers sold or promoted for pointing or amusement purposes.

People who operate Class IIIb portable laser systems should be familiar with the above ANSI standards for safe use of lasers. This ANSI series of standards includes specific information for the safe use of such laser products in their applications of use."

So that means, as long as our lasers are not being advertised as a "laser pointer" or "laser light show" instrument, they should be legal, correct?


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Old 09-03-2013, 09:24 AM #2
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Default Re: Portable Laser Systems FDA

Good question almost every portable laser light show item I've ever seen for sale are all class3b usually 80 mW red and 30 mW green ,so what is the deal they put out beams all over the place just to BE seen at disco for lighting effects. Seems to be an issue with having laser pointer as you said but clearly the above laser projector is class 3b and illegal never seen one less than 5mW anywhere
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Old 09-03-2013, 11:26 AM #3
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Default Re: Portable Laser Systems FDA

Quote:
Originally Posted by hwang21 View Post
I'm sure this topic has been discussed before, but in light of these new events occurring...

The FDA website clearly states:

"Can battery-operated, portable laser systems be sold in the U.S?

Yes, battery-operated, portable laser systems can be sold in the U.S., providing that they fully comply with the standard, are certified and reported, and are not Class IIIb lasers sold or promoted for pointing or amusement purposes.

People who operate Class IIIb portable laser systems should be familiar with the above ANSI standards for safe use of lasers. This ANSI series of standards includes specific information for the safe use of such laser products in their applications of use."

So that means, as long as our lasers are not being advertised as a "laser pointer" or "laser light show" instrument, they should be legal, correct?
Correct.
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Old 09-03-2013, 03:00 PM #4
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Default Re: Portable Laser Systems FDA

That's really a grey area... you're not really supposed to sell laser modules that don't meet the 5-point safety regulations unless they're OEM parts intended for those who will eventually meet those standards. Even then I don't know if you need an accession number or some other certification to really sell a laser product.

The FDA has been clamping down on some of the sites that sell lasers, even from sellers on here. The under-the-table grey market is harder to enforce, so that hasn't been such an issue.

Regardless, if you're listing your lasers as laser pointers and they're far more powerful, you're opening yourself up to a lot of trouble. At the very least describe them as "laser modules."
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Old 09-03-2013, 04:59 PM #5
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Default Re: Portable Laser Systems FDA

Currently, all portable lasers and pointers are defined as "surveying, leveling, and alignment laser products" as a policy and these catagories can not exceed 5mw. At least that is how I read what is currently going on---is a policy decision by FDA

From FDA site Illuminating the Hazards of Powerful Laser Products as follows:
"The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is concerned about the increased availability in stores and on the Internet of certain types of laser products—some of which are being sold illegally because they are powered above 5 milliwatts (mW), which is a standard for certain types of lasers and laser projectors.

Manufacturers of some types of laser products that are powered above 5 mW must obtain permission from FDA before they are sold to the public. This power limit applies to lasers sold to the public for purposes of alignment, surveying, or leveling, and includes lasers used for pointing. Laser projectors powered above 5 mW and the laser light shows that they produce must also be manufactured with permission from FDA.

Green lasers are particularly troubling to FDA, says CDR Dan Hewett, U.S. Public Health Service, a health promotion officer in the Electronic Products Branch of FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

“A green laser beam could cause a larger startling or flash-blinding effect compared to a similarly powered red laser because the human eye is especially sensitive to green light,” says Hewett. Flash blindness is a temporary loss of vision that occurs when the eye is suddenly exposed to intense light. The effect can last from several seconds to several minutes.

“As technology has evolved, lasers have increased rapidly in power and decreased in size and power consumption,” says Hewett. “Laser use in consumer products is increasing rapidly, and that demand has pushed the price of powerful lasers lower. As the price goes down, more people may acquire powerful, unsafe lasers, creating more opportunity for misuse and injury.”

Hewett emphasizes the reason for the 5 mW limit. “A 5 mW laser aimed directly into the eye won’t cause damage instantaneously. A person’s reflexes to look away, blink, or make other involuntary movements are protective. But if you keep your eyes open and stare into a 5 mW beam, it will cause damage. A higher-powered laser gives you less time to look away before injury can occur, and as power increases, eye damage may happen in a microsecond, even when looking at a beam reflection.” "

Last edited by Encap; 09-03-2013 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:17 PM #6
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Default Re: Portable Laser Systems FDA

I sense that our days are numbered.

Has any plane worldwide ever been brought down by a "laser pointer' ??

The bright side.....is our lasers will be worth far more as outlawed devices. ( maybe)

Last edited by PhaserII; 09-03-2013 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 09-03-2013, 10:17 PM #7
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Default Re: Portable Laser Systems FDA

As I mentioned in the other thread too, the FDA webpage clearly states 3B lasers as legal as long as they are not advertised as pointers or for surveying purposes. Your link doesn't address non-pointer and non-surveying portable laser systems (unless I missed it, if so please quote)
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Old 09-03-2013, 11:07 PM #8
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Default Re: Portable Laser Systems FDA

Just call 'em OEM and state the class and put a disclaimer?
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Old 09-03-2013, 11:27 PM #9
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Default Re: Portable Laser Systems FDA

That could also work lol^ they don't say much about OEM builds... although I would think that OEM in a fully assembled host would look suspicious
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Old 09-06-2013, 12:31 AM #10
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Default Re: Portable Laser Systems FDA

Quote:
or amusement purposes.
There is the kicker, that reads as "if your using it for fun, ie: not paid work, then that confides amusement/enjoyment purposes ergo illegal".

"Amusement" is the operative wording, I'd stake my life on the fact that will be the caveat they use to enforce what is already law.

Look at it another way, how many of us here are employed or work with lasers as part of our paid daily jobs outside of a hobby?

cheers

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