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A Plea for EYE Safety!!

tsteele93

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I'm concerned. A one watt laser pointer for less then 200$ is a problem in the hands of those who are immature. If your running a group buy, the repercussions of this are on your heads.

The federal government is failing on enforcement to the point that laser safety will pass to the state level, and that would be a non uniform mess. Five years ago this device would have had safeguards to prevent diode removal. It needs to be retrofitted right now to diodes bonded to a sled. That would make it a better projector for its intended use, anyway.

I hate to be a Cassandra (Greek Mythology, look her up) , but I ask
Those of you organizing massive group buys need to think about what your doing and whom your selling to.

At 700mW to 1 watt, injuries will be all too common, and blue has some unique short and long term PROVEN side effects with respect to color vision. Prolonged exposure to intense blue results in diminished green vision. This has been proven in studies of eye surgeons who used blue lasers to treat patients. The green vision comes back somewhat in 3-6 months. The surgeons were exposed to milliwatts at best for 20-40 minute sessions per patient.

There is no legitimate non military need for a watt of collimated visible light in a hand held device.

You certainly have the right to blow out your own retinas. But when you affect others the game changes.

Blue glare in a aircraft will NOT be a good thing.

It is to the communities advantage to self regulate, restrict buyer age, make buyers sign a warning notice, and to drive the price upwards.

You have been warned. You can also bet I and others will be calling Casio first thing Monday Morning.

Steve
I don't get this.

First, I'd like to point out that this was written almost two years ago. The predictions did not come true. Injuries are NOT all too common. In fact, they are still surprisingly rare.

It is more like Chicken Little than Cassandra.

Second, this forum seems to live and breath on finding the next great diode or projector with a great diode in it - and yet this stickied post calls for everyone to stop buying diodes and stop buying projectors, stop doing group buys, raise the price of handheld lasers, etc...

The post even goes so far as to suggest calling the projector companies and tell them to make the diodes un-harvestable. How is that of any benefit to a forum in which the members are trying to build laser pointers from diodes that are almost always harvested from some sort of projector or optical burner?

Please don't get me wrong, I am 100% for eye safety. I am 100% for aircraft safety. But I don't see how trying to get manufacturers to quit making products in a way that we can get the diodes out of them is in any way a positive thing for the forum.

So, what am I missing here? :thinking:
 

bobo99

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Just my input on this, I was recently traveling through Europe and was in Paris for a week.

I was with a friend and just wandering the streets enjoying life. A certain subset of the population tries to sell you green laser pointers, every 50 ft, on the majority of street corners. Their preferred method of selling their green lasers is by flashing it into a crowd to get your attention. Needless to say I was furious, but these people were hardly educated, and not entirely sure if they could even read.

A couple times I got flashed, from what my guesstimate was about 30-50 mW, just briefly. I tried explaining to my friend that the view at Montmarte is not worth my eyesight and we should move somewhere else. She laughed and said "it's not that bad".

Now I was pissed at the people flashing their green lasers around (regular pointer, and the kaleidescope one that splits the beam into a 100 or so dots), and at my friend for preferring to be ignorant.

People simply don't understand that light can be dangerous, both educated people and uneducated people who point the laser at your eye when trying to sell it.

The standard argument for this is, read up on laser safety, education, bla bla, however these people genuinely can't read, and it doesn't interest them.

I"m a laser enthusiast and love tinkering with this stuff, but in a way I want to say that perhaps the best option is for the general public to not find out about our laser stuff. The only reason these guys weren't trying to sell me a 1W blue laser is because they haven't found out about it, and when they do... Yes there is the cost issue of selling a 50-60$ laser on the street, but as the price comes down, and power goes up...

In short, people don't care about safety, especially since they're not pointing it at their own eyes, and I think the worst thing possible is for these same people to find out about high power lasers.

Just my two cents.
 

tsteele93

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The other interesting thing is that we DON'T see that causing massive injuries that we know of anyway. I'm fairly certain that there was a solid 10x headroom. Amazon and eBay are selling thousands of 50mW lasers every day and there don't seem to be increases in laser-related injuries. I'm definitely for safety, but reality seems to be glaringly obvious that a 50mW laser isn't as eminently devastating as the warning labels would have led us to believe.
 
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@tsteele: I admire your persistence and your logic in your posts on PL ;)..

But here's why all the solid, sensible logic in the world will fail:

First off, let me say that I believe in laser safety, and high-powered lasers are dangerous. There is a difference, however, in the level of danger they pose when compared to firearms, for example, or explosives.

Now, back to the point I'm trying to make: Tom, you are dealing with old-school laser professionals on PL. For YEARS what they did was considered magic. Until modern technology and explosive growth of the laser hobby came along and changed all that. Today, anyone can find out ALL of their secrets with no difficulty whatsoever. They have always viewed hobbyists and especially the knowledge they propagate as a direct threat to their "magical" status and rightfully so. I have no sympathy for them however.. time marches on. Either keep up or be left in the dust.

Their replies in your discussion with them have nothing to do with safety in reality, at least not for people like Steve and Jon. The rest of the members there just follow blindly. Many of the old-school laser professionals dislike the idea of cheap class IV lasers because they are a direct threat to their previous existence. It's that simple. The rest is just big talk.. hot air. That, in a nutshell, is why PL is a joke. Any time people ignore real world facts and evidence you have to wonder why..
 
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Bionic-Badger

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What is also silly is that a forum like this is not where safety problems will originate from. It'll be from such lasers being sold on eBay, or from shops in Hong Kong, etc. to people who have has zero exposure to lasers in the first place. Here we try to educate people of the dangers, while being entirely aware that people--like us--will seek out these products even in the absence of "official" sources of information. This is about keeping the kingdom intact, rather than altruistic pleas for safety.

I see this like educating young people about sex: they will have sex, and that is how it is. What is important is that if they have sex, they are doing so in a safe manner.

To continue the use of mythological analogy: better to be Prometheus, and teach the masses the knowledge that some gods wish forbidden, than let the masses open Pandora's box themselves and release the secrets without control.
 

tsteele93

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@tsteele: I admire your persistence and your logic in your posts on PL ;)..

But here's why all the solid, sensible logic in the world will fail:

First off, let me say that I believe in laser safety, and high-powered lasers are dangerous. There is a difference, however, in the level of danger they pose when compared to firearms, for example, or explosives.

Now, back to the point I'm trying to make: Tom, you are dealing with old-school laser professionals on PL. For YEARS what they did was considered magic. Until modern technology and explosive growth of the laser hobby came along and changed all that. Today, anyone can find out ALL of their secrets with no difficulty whatsoever. They have always viewed hobbyists and especially the knowledge they propagate as a direct threat to their "magical" status and rightfully so. I have no sympathy for them however.. time marches on. Either keep up or be left in the dust.

Their replies in your discussion with them have nothing to do with safety in reality, at least not for people like Steve and Jon. The rest of the members there just follow blindly. Many of the old-school laser professionals dislike the idea of cheap class IV lasers because they are a direct threat to their previous existence. It's that simple. The rest is just big talk.. hot air. That, in a nutshell, is why PL is a joke. Any time people ignore real world facts and evidence you have to wonder why..
Yeah, they apparently thought I was you at one point! :D

It has been an interesting experience, if you consider banging your head on a brick walk until it is bloody an interesting experience.

I told my wife that I had finally come to the conclusion that on LPF you are dealing with a lot of REALLY smart guys and you have to take that into account and allow for the quirks of personality that brings you into contact with... Really smart people tend to also tend to be unusual people in many cases.

So I've come to expect that here and try to deal with it.

I also told her that I went into PL with the same assumption, but eventually realized that... Hmm, how do I say this tactfully. Let's just say that I did not encounter the same quirks for the same reasons there.

At first I thought it was me not explaining my problems clearly enough, but eventually I realized that they are playing in a nice, controlled little world and they do not take kindly to people coming in and asking questions about their "gods" or coming in and challenging their group-thought. The hivemind does not like change!

Anyway, I played really nice at first, but I finally realized that I was already being branded a heretic for suggesting that there might be ANYTHING wrong with QuickShow :tsk: and it was all downhill from there!
 
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Bionic-Badger

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What I like about LPF is that it's for people of all experience levels, not just people who want to make laser shows or dabble in higher end lasering. You'll find people asking about their crappy lights from DX, to people discussing high-end projects rolling their own DPSS laser.

Don't get me wrong though, there are a ton of extremely intelligent people on PL, good knowledge, and good answers if you know the right questions. Still... it just feels like there is an oligarchy in place there, and that many folks there like to play the elitist, rather than use their knowledge to bring others into the fold.
 

tsteele93

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I don't doubt that you are correct, but some of what I was up against didn't even feel smart. Maybe it was because they are so married to QuickShow that they couldn't even understand why I would want to do what I wanted to do and they couldn't let go of that?

But some pretty basic questions were repeatedly "misunderstood" or answered just a little off, it was strange. Felt like some weird episode of Star Trek where there was this secret that they were all keeping and sometimes their answers had to be weird so they wouldn't give away the secret.

P.S. I know this is CRAZY, but I started to think that Soylent Green was PEOPLE!
 
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Lol.. that's just how it is over there. Gobs and gobs of thoroughly undeserved superiority complexes, and all neatly arranged in the classic "old-boys-club" hierarchy. If you don't talk their talk, then you AIN'T gonna walk their walk.. but yet, they'd have the rest of the community believe that they are the definitive experts on all things laser. I'd wager that LPF has more expertise lodged in it's member list than PL could hope for in it's wildest wet dreams.. How much research and experimentation from LPF and the rest of the hobbyist community do you think those very same smug elitist "pros" have benefitted from?
 
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Benm

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What about High Intensity Discharge vehicle lamps using xenon arcs and what not...in regards to the blue light danger

I notice alot of trends towards people moving towards violet and deep blue because its "cool".

Could this not be hazardous as well?? Its already bad enough to have head lights shining at you at night ...
Car headlights -can- produce a dangerous amount of light indeed, but this only occurs when you look head-on into them at a very short distance from the headlight. This goes both for modern HID lamps and oldfashioned halogen lights. It doesn't have much to do with the color temperature of the lights either, they just produce a lot of light in a small space, like lasers do.

The reflector system is built such that it has reasonable divergence though, so there is no danger in any reasonable real world scenario. Its not that it is impossible to look straight into a car headlight from a foot away, just very unlikely you would accidentily do that.

Lasers aren't the only eye hazards in the world... in fact, staring straight into the sun at midday can also cause eye injury. Usually people are smart enough not to do that, but in case of solar eclipses using eye protection is recommended since you want to observe it and willingly stare into the sun despite that being very uncomfortable otherwise.
 

AdamC

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Upgrading goggles after my next payday because of reading this whole thread (great info!)
Working on my first powerul laser build with an m140 and it looks like the goggles I got just won't cut it!
 

EpicHam

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Yes, RC cars , planes , HID flashlights , mobile phones , TV amplifiers , radios .
Lets regulate all of them and punish the law abiding citizens who are simply trying to have fun because of the unlawful few who sold to kids and the adults who were irresponsible.
 

hakzaw1

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I'm concerned. A one watt laser pointer for less then 200$ is a problem in the hands of those who are immature. If your running a group buy, the repercussions of this are on your heads.

I don't give a damn about lack of enforcement of federal laws in the US or Free Will or Personal Freedom. Let me rephrase that, I do give a damn about my ability to purchase tools, parts, and materials to do my job as a laser professional and my freedom.

In other words, please think twice before you sell blue kits at 200$ or less to some one who lacks maturity. Your shortchanging your own rights in the long run.

The federal government is failing on enforcement to the point that laser safety will pass to the state level, and that would be a non uniform mess. Five years ago this device would have had safeguards to prevent diode removal. It needs to be retrofitted right now to diodes bonded to a sled. That would make it a better projector for its intended use, anyway.

I hate to be a Cassandra (Greek Mythology, look her up) , but I ask
Those of you organizing massive group buys need to think about what your doing and whom your selling to.

At 700mW to 1 watt, injuries will be all too common, and blue has some unique short and long term PROVEN side effects with respect to color vision. Prolonged exposure to intense blue results in diminished green vision. This has been proven in studies of eye surgeons who used blue lasers to treat patients. The green vision comes back somewhat in 3-6 months. The surgeons were exposed to milliwatts at best for 20-40 minute sessions per patient.

Argon multiline blue/green has been largely replaced by green and yellow-green wavelengths for retinal surgery, blue/green was used because it was what was available with the technology of the time. Surgeons have long decried the tissue side effects of blue green, and only in the past 5 years has DPSS made its way into eye surgery.


This blue wavelength has some unique biochemical actions on releasing free radicals, and is strongly adsorbed by red blood cells in capillaries. It causes larger damaged areas in retinal tissue and is far more likely to be adsorbed by the tissue then 532 nm light.

I'm not open to arguments on this one, I've worked with 488 nm light since 1989 or so.

There is no legitimate non military need for a watt of collimated visible light in a hand held device.

You certainly have the right to blow out your own retinas. But when you affect others the game changes.

Blue glare in a aircraft will NOT be a good thing.

Don't even bother to make the lame comments about the poorer beam quality, high divergence, etc.

167 people are looking at this thread as I type. Wait till it gets slashdotted, kipcayed, etc..

It is to the communities advantage to self regulate, restrict buyer age, make buyers sign a warning notice, and to drive the price upwards.

Your new laser regulator will NOT be the CDRH if this gets out of hand. It will be the FAA, US Customs, Homeland Security, and your LOCAL POLICE. FAA had no problems getting a instant moratorium on outdoor laser shows some years ago, and the FAA can and will get enforcement instantly, if this gets out of hand. And it will be a FELONY and CIVIL PENALITES.

Freedom is not free, it comes with great responsibility.


You have been warned. You can also bet I and others will be calling Casio first thing Monday Morning.

Steve
*****************************

this^^^ OP is from June 2010

It is more relevant today than even back then..

since then intentional lasing of ANY aircraft is no longer just a serious felony -it has become so bad it is now a federal offence.


DO not expect many buyers(1st time mostly) to heed this warning- as they will not CARE.

that leaves just us- and way too many will say 'what can I do ..little old ME.. I am just one person and I want to sell lasers so I can get more lasers don't lay this guilt trip on ME its not MY fault' (its all 'me' and 'I')
 
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