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532nm <20 mw laser dangers?

brlasergmail

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This is a complete noobie question.

We have a <20 532nm laser.

I use it when we are out camping to point at stars.

How dangerous is it really?

We are never going to look directly at it, but, if we point it in the water to look at fish at night? point it in the lawn and people actually look at the dot on the grass? What happens if it reflects off the grass back into their eyes? Is to too quick to do any harm?

Can the beam make someone sick by looking at it?

We can see it going up to the stars? Can people 100 yards away see the beem going up from where we are?

Thanks.
 



Blord

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How do you know it is less than 20mW green ? You read the sticker on the laserpen ?

If it is real low power than there is not really harm to look at the dot or pointing to stars.
Just don't do stupid things like shining into people eyes.
 

AUS

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20mW is *relatively* safe but it could still harm your retina if it hit you directly in the eye. Probably OK at a distance but can be a hazard in mirrors and shinny metal.

The other thing about green lasers is they start off as infra red (they make green by doubling the frequency using a crystal). The good ones have infra red filters but the cheap ones sometimes don't.

So there is probably a 100mW infra red laser in that pointer generating 20mW of green, which could be dangerous if its not filtered out.
 

31415

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Don't point it at a moving object in the sky that may look like a star...that could get you arrested. (Pointing a laser at an aircraft.)
 

swans

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generally, one with less than 5mW may be relatively safe. don't point your 20 mw laser pointers at living things and pay attention to a moving object in the sky when you point to stars.
 

brlasergmail

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Thank you for the feedback guys.

The model is a a Wicked Laser Classic that I picked up about 3-4 years ago. it says < 20 mv on the side, class IIIb.

i ask this question because my wife won't even let the kids look at the laser beam as I'm pointing out stars... she thinks it is too dangerous. I tell her that if I point it in their eyes, or if it bounced off a mirror and hit their eyes, that it would be really dangerous. We don't use it in an obscene manner, so I'm trying to get her to loosen up and enjoy being able to point starts out and pick fish out in the water at night without her freaking out.

She heard that a laser "took a plane down" once. i tell her that this is not the case... and that we don't point it at people or planes in the first place. She is worried, rightly so, that if it bounces off the water wrong, it might bounce and hit our eyes. Yes, we see green, but it's for a flashing moment if there is a flicker in the water.

I don't want to make light of the dangers of a laser to her or the children, but at the same time, want them to be able to point things out up there while camping. Even with the starapps on the ipad, it is still easier to poin them out with the laser.
 




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