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A Plea for EYE Safety!!

proud2deviate

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Okay, I hate to be the voice of dissent here (actually, it's in my nature. See username. . .) BUT,

It seems to me that we are on a very slippery slope regarding these diodes and the lasers we can build with them. Do they have the potential to be uncommonly dangerous, as far as lasers go? Sure. Here's the catch fellas; the WORLD is dangerous. Let's say, for the sake of argument, that some dumbass kid gets a hold of one of these lasers and manages to burn or blind himself, or worse, someone else. I can pretty much guarantee mass media coverage of the event, Million Mom Marches against lasers, the sudden need for the "reasonable restriction" of these dangerous devices, etc.

Now, if the same kid burns himself with a Bic lighter, or blows his hand off with a firecracker, or blinds his friend with the toilet bowl cleaner that's stashed under pretty much every kitchen sink in America, guess what? Ho hum. A thirty second spot on the morning news. Forgotten by next Thursday.

Why the difference? Because the laser is NEW. It's unknown, and therefore scary. People don't like scary. However, since they're quite familiar with their Bic lighters and the hydrochloric acid-based cleaner that really cuts through that tough grime, they're willing to keep them around.

I suppose my point is, there's really nothing you can do to stop someone from getting harmed with one of these lasers. At some point, someone WILL tag themself in the eye (in the best case scenario,) or get burned. We can only hope that they recognize it to be their own dumbass fault and not make a stink about it.

All you are doing with your "reasonable restrictions" and age limits and demands to see a pic of eyeware and calls to Casio is adding fuel to the firestorm that WILL engulf us if and when these ever hit the public eye (no pun intended.) The media will come to LPF, and see you crowing on about how we need to restrict these, and they'll say "See! Even the guys that build these things think they should be restricted!"

I'd also like to say that entirely too much time, effort, and money goes into protecting people from their own stupidity. We've killed Darwin, and our society is growing stagnant as a result.

Educate, don't restrict. The world will cut our throats soon enough. No need to help it along.
 
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jbtm

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Plus you will always have the people who dont listen and will get lasers without any protection at ALL. Just look at the world of high voltage. You can find youtube videos of 9 year olds playing with 60mA Neon transformers, Microwave transformers, and even distribution transformers. You will 'always' have people doing bad things, and just hope they are smart enough to relies the potential danger and protection required. Just like with me, I know there's people out there that say "You can touch a tesla coil (SSTC) output and it doesnt hurt" I take safety to my own level...You dont ever see me touching my 26" arcs...

I would agree that it would be nice for people to put on their videos SOMETHING about the dangers of them...Or at least mention safety with goggles :) Too many people see stuff on youtube and say "I want to do this!" and go forth. Heck I seen videos titled "What not to do with green lasers" of a guy showing off a 200+mw green laser, pointing it at his face in the mirror. I relies these 445nm diodes are far stronger.
 

Cerebral1978

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I do not know all of the forum's abilities, but I have an idea as to how sales can be regulated according to safety knowledge if the forums can make use of a "badges" system.

If the forum where to decide to restrict the sale of these high power capable diodes, sales could be restricted to people that have a "saftey badge" on their profile. The only way that a member could acheive this badge is by showing their knowledge of laser safety to a vet or a moderator. This could be in the form of a questionare that could be filled out and pm'ed, then based upon the number of correct answers, the member gets the badge or not. This would at least prove that the people with badges knew the risks, and showed that they had saftey knowledge. Using something like this would not only clear a seller's conscience, but could be used if blame ever came to fall upon the forum.

Once again, I am not sure if the forum has this ability, and if the vets and mods would want to mess with something like this, but it was an idea that just hit me, and I though I would share.
 

kingdave2357

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Educate, don't restrict.
That is a statment that I live by;)

Seriously though, I fail to see the huge deal here, we have 12x diodes that can be pushed near 1W, now we have blues that can take 1W, that is a GOOD thing. Like I said before, the only people that will take them that high are people with the proper saftey knowledge and equipment. Average ppl are only gonna want a few hundred mW.

Its NOT like you can take these diodes, hook them directly to some AA's or CR2's and get a 1W focused laser beam. In order to get this 'super dangerous 1W beam' you need the proper equipment, the people running them at 1W were using bench PSU's.

I think there should be one restriction and one only, these diodes at powers greater than an average 8X bluray, shouldnt be made for anyone, if someone wants one over a certain power than they must build it themselves, if they are smart enough to make their own working high powered laser, they are most likely smart enough to use it properly.
 
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LSRFAQ

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That is a statment that I live by;)

Seriously though, I fail to see the huge deal here, we have 12x diodes that can be pushed near 1W, now we have blues that can take 1W, that is a GOOD thing. Like I said before, the only people that will take them that high are people with the proper saftey knowledge and equipment. Average ppl are only gonna want a few hundred mW.

end quote.

I'm trying to educate here. Things like the green response fade for blue exposure. But the issue is NOT home builders as much as it is resellers.


Its a male thing, bigger numbers and higher prices are a masculine trait.
How soon will you be able to buy 400 mW of 445 in a pointer off ebay?. How soon will it be another vehicle illumination incident? How soon will we see another request in the safety thread for "How do I treat my Retinal Burn?"
I've responded to quite a few of the burn treatment requests, both on and off forum. Its time to put a stop to needless eye injuries.

Putting 500 mW for 200$ in the hands of the general public is this issue. It will happen with this wavelength, and soon. This wavelength is sexy. What you publish here gets read in China and noticed by pointer makers. Lasers are a easy source of Dollars, which are still worth far more then Chinese RMBI.

Go look at the thread on Maker Faire for the 250 mW laser harp plan that DOES NOT ONCE mention aiming 250 mW or more at your hand or face can be a hazard. As of last week its in the top 10 downloads on MF and has been at that level for some time. It was Cover Page on the Maker Faire written magazine, That person got the data to buy the laser from LPF, and the data on how to drive scanners from PL. If I had ANY idea he'd be that popular, without mentioning safety, I would have NEVER helped him pick a DAC chip.

Proliferation happens, and safety only comes from a culture of safety and education. The problem with the internet is you can select the parts you WANT to read.


Did you know that 405 and 445 are in the actinic light section of the ANSI MPE table and thus get a much smaller MPE ????

Here is a short primer on the subject...

Information for Therapists on Light Therapy and Retinal Damage

Primate Studies of intense blue light exposure show a hastening of aging related macular degeneration. Studies of eye surgeons using blue-green and violet from argon lasers show a degradation in green response that takes months to heal once the doctor switches wavelengths or stops using the deep blue beam. Those studies were done before the macular degradation studies.

Now you want to increase exposure to 405 and 445? Think about it, most new lighting systems are blue driven, be they CFLs or LED and now laser.

Once again I'm tiring of arguing. Why is 12X 405 good for anything other then EGO!

I didn't have to call Casio, I emailed some one else. The issue is now going through "proper" industry channels.

Steve
 
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Benm

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I have my doubts about any kind of 'safety badge' system. I would probably pass such a test f its a series of questions, but the big question remains if someone will abide by this knowledge.

Also, the class 3 vs class 4 distinction has very little to do with eye safety, the main distinction is that class 4 lasers are able to set things on fire if operated irresponsibly. Obviously class 4 lasers pose a greater eye hazard as well, but 400 vs 600 mW is not the hard limit there.

If one must put some hard limit on power vs safety, it would be at 1 or 5 mW for visible lasers. 5 mW can potentially cause an eye injuy if people are acting stupidly, such as shining the laser directly into their eyes.

Considering reaity, 200 mW or so pointers are now commonly available, and those are devices that can cause very serious injuries, the step to a-bit-over-500mW is relatively small. I think the best thing is to educate rather than legislate - just knowing something poses a true hazard is useful. But then again, slapping a "do not swallow!" warning on a matress makes people doubt the validity of warnings in general, which is a dangerous slope.

I'm all for a dual warning system: one warning that is just a legal disclaimer, and another that declares that something is actually dangerous even to sane people acting responsibly. I know legal systems don't really allow that distinction, but for me its information i'd want to have: will something harm me in a 1 in a billion chance, or will it be actually likely to harm me in real world scenarios?
 

jbtm

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Or if your like me and had a time where you got to mess with a 100W CO2 laser fiber cabled to a hand-held pen *whistles* What fun that was a few years back at a friends work...
 

Bionic-Badger

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I think another major way to encourage safe practices is to find a good source of reliable goggles that can be had for relatively cheap prices. Just from looking at the posts for 445nm protection goggle, people are adverse to spending more than $50 (hell, $30) on eye-saving protective goggles, and are seeking out uncertified alternatives just to save a buck or two. Sure, something is better than nothing, but it may also give people false security.

Does OEM Laser systems still offer those hobby lines of protective eyewear? I can't find it on their site.
 

Things

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This thread needs a sticky ..

Definitely an important topic with these new diodes!
 

Bluefan

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Thanks for the info of the added danger of blue Steve, I'll keep it in mind for my upcoming 445nm. In case you wonder, I'll use this when I'll build my laser (and it's not gonna be a pointer).
 

Moebius

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Eudaimonium

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That sucks, i use those and i thought they worked really well :(
Thanks for the info. Time for a new pair.
Taking great care is more important than having good pair of goggles - they are here only to protect you in case of an accident. Responsible use of laser, and knowing what can it do, is more important because there are only so many pairs you can buy - countered by numerous people who can get damaged by irresponsible use.

Not directed towards you, Moebius, I'm just saying my opinion :beer:
 

Traveller

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You have been warned. You can also bet I and others will be calling Casio first thing Monday Morning.
I think my review of safety goggles was the 2nd~3rd thread that I started on LPF. I'm also a great proponent of safety @LPF and I've been known to pick fights with members that post anything contrary to good safety practices. Finally, I've little choice as I promised my father I would place safety first - after all, he's spent the last... 40-odd years helping to restore sight around the globe... .

Background out of the way, I'd like to say that I back your post all the way. Well, most of your post, in any case.

I'm less pleased with your last paragraph and I have to wonder why I'm the only one [that posted in this thread] that has taken note of it and somewhat taken aback by it... .

In other words, :wtf:
 




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