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A Plea for EYE Safety!!

Hemlock_Mike

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I've stated this before. "The At Risk Falacy" Which states that, from government perspective, If one person in a large population is likely to misuse something, then all members in that population need to be regulated.
This is going to eventually happen to this hobby.

HMike
 



kingdave2357

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I've stated this before. "The At Risk Falacy" Which states that, from government perspective, If one person in a large population is likely to misuse something, then all members in that population need to be regulated.
This is going to eventually happen to this hobby.

HMike
I hate when things like that happen, it seems that for some reason, the intelligent are always damned to suffer for the ignorance of the stupid...
:cryyy:
 

Benm

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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.
Its a bit difficult with this wavelength, since its relatively new, yet available at serious power levels.

I think the best thing we can do on LPF is test existing, afforable goggles for 445 nm. Goggles intended to block both green and bluray are likeliy to be effective here, but they should still be tested for actual attenuation before making recommendations.

Its a downside of something new hitting the market: we're faced with many unknowns in terms of adequate protection, and the only likely way to find out is doing actual tests, since specifications rarely list performance at 445 nm.
 

pullbangdead

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Specifications for certified goggles always list the performance at the intended wavelengths...what's the mystery here? What is there for us to test? There's no need to reinvent the wheel, just buy certified goggles.

And discussing the testing of our goggles misses the point of the OP, I think.
 

megha

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Now, when You buy this laser there is a banner that says:

And you have to check all that point before continue...

LASER HAZARD ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Before Wicked Lasers you can place your order for a Class 4 laser, we require the following:

▪ Check the boxes above to Indicate your understanding of the 8 items above. PLEASE READ, do not just check everything.

You are purchasing a Class 4 laser (for visible beams above 500mW). Class 4 lasers can cause eye and skin burns, and can set fire to materials. This is NOT a laser pointer. This is NOT a toy. You are responsible for the safe use of this laser. As a responsible laser manufacturer, Wicked Lasers requires that you acknowledge important Class 4 laser safety principles:

THE DIRECT BEAM IS AN EYE HAZARD -- KEEP IT AWAY FROM PEOPLE. Never shine this laser towards a person's head, or where a person might be or might suddenly appear. (This also goes for pets and other animals.)

REFLECTED BEAMS ARE ALSO A HAZARD. Prevent exposure from reflections off of shiny surfaces, and "back reflections" off of glass and window surfaces. Even a fraction of the beam's original power can cause eye damage.

THE BEAM IS A SKIN HAZARD. This laser can burn skin, especially at close range and with darker skin colors.

THE BEAM CAN BE A FIRE HAZARD. This laser can burn materials, especially at close range, with darker material colors, and with more easily combustible materials.

NEVER AIM THIS LASER TOWARDS AIRCRAFT OR VEHICLES. The bright light from this laser can distract or temporarily flashblind pilots and drivers. This can happen even at great distances. (For a 1 watt laser, the beam can distract pilots up to 45 miles away.) Be EXTREMELY careful any time the beam goes into the sky or near a road.

For green and especially blue lasers: BLUE LIGHT HAZARD. Exposure to intense blue light can cause photochemical retinal degeneration. Avoid exposure of many minutes to light between about 380nm (ultraviolet) to 530nm (green), with the strongest peak at around 440nm (blue).

MISUSE CAN BE HAZARDOUS. Monitor the laser operations at all times. Keep away from children, immature persons, or persons who do not understand Class 4 laser hazards.
 

Traveller

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For green and especially blue lasers: BLUE LIGHT HAZARD. Exposure to intense blue light can cause photochemical retinal degeneration. Avoid exposure of many minutes to light between about 380nm (ultraviolet) to 530nm (green), with the strongest peak at around 440nm (blue).
Anyone have real numbers for this (mW/time @1m or what have you)? That's pretty disturbing... makes me wonder if this is in any way related to the fact that we all see BluRay at different intensities and in different ways... :undecided:

High-energy visible light - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

Arayan

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A very good idea to start this thread ...:gj:...
 

Eidetic

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Safety goggles offer necessary protection from glare and stray reflections, but do nothing for anyone else in (or who might enter) a room. Other safety steps necessary for Class4 lasers include:
1) door interlocks,
2) control of the termination of the beam,
3) control of access to the beam path,
4) use of proper materials that might come into contact with the beam,
5) an attenuator to reduce the beam's intensity to a minimum when working with it,
6) proper beam dumps,
7) required operator training,
8) skin protection, and
9) warning signs outside the room.

Don't think that just because you buy a pair of goggles that you're safe with a Class 4 laser. You're not. Just like wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle does nothing to increase your safety while riding the bike, goggles are there to protect you AFTER you've screwed up on one of the other nine steps.

For example, without an attenuator in front of the laser, you need to work with it at full power. That makes you want to wear goggles, but then you can't see where the beam is to work with it. So the goggles come off, and you're at risk.

But the more fundamental violation of basic laser safety is the packaging of a Class 4 laser into a head that can is designed to be hand held. That totally violates four of the nine points just mentioned. It encourages use of the laser in uncontrolled environments and by untrained operators. Even calling them "pointers" violates the spirit of laser safety by suggesting they are suitable for that purpose. They're NOT!!! Hand held lasers over a few milliWatts are directed energy weapons. They should be packaged like pistols and rifles, not like flashlights.
 
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Traveller

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Does OEM Laser systems still offer those hobby lines of protective eyewear? I can't find it on their site.
No, unfortunately not. You could ask Frothychimp if they would be compelled to extend the offer again, but you'll have to hunt him down (he's occasionally stopping by some of the other, less ah... "generalized" laser forums).

A real shame though because you can't expect anything certified to be cheaper than that (I think it was $45 for each of the two popular wavelength ranges).
 

LSRFAQ

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OK, Eidetic added something in the safety thread worth quoting. This is for CW lasers, pulsed lasers add some unique requirements of their own.



Eidetic pushed around 100% recyclable electrons to say:

QUOTE:

1. Always secure the laser to a solid table or other rigid mount. The beam can't be controlled or used if it's flipping around the place as though some child is having a Star Wars fantasy.

2. Use them in a room with easily dimmable light. All on or all off discourages the comfortable use of goggles.

3. Verify the beam's termination before turning the laser on.

4. Use a beam dump that captures all the reflected light in an enclosure or tube of some appropriate material.

5. Always keep the beam terminated as close to the laser as possible.

6. Use the beam at waist level. Danger increases as the beam gets closer to anyone's eye level.

7. Keep the beams reflected off mirrors in a plane. It keeps back reflections and forward deflections in the same plane.

8. Keep the beam plane horizontal. Beams going up out of the horizontal plane are the most dangerous, getting worse as they approach the vertical.

9. Be aware of short people and children's eye heights when they are present. Stray beams often shoot off a table very near their eyes.

10. Use black anodized aluminum sheets instead of cardboard or foamcore for baffles and enclosures. It won't burn unexpectedly.

11. Blackout foil is your friend. Share a box with a buddy and you'll be glad you did. You'll be reusing it for years and years.

12. Use black cards instead of white cards to view the expanded beam. Makes it easier on the eyes.

13. Beware of black rubberized fabric "safety" curtains. A Watt will poke a hole in them. Nothing like sitting in a chair behind a curtain you think will keep you safe, and the next thing you know a beam is blowing through it onto the back of your head. True story.

14. When inserting a shiny object into a beam, tilt it so the incident surface reflection goes down.

15. Before you insert anything into a beam, announce it to anyone standing around so they can look away.

16. Don't wear wrist watches or other jewelry when working with laser light.

17. Verify that all real focal points are clear before turning the power up.

18. Enclose all real focal points to prevent accidental intrusion and burning there.

19. Never let anybody else put anything into your beams.

20. Keep these lasers out of the hands of children and the childish.

END QUOTE.

I'd add

21. Enclose all the beams in something that can contain them, mark with the proper warning stickers as containing a hazard, and add interlocks to prevent access if the box or tubing is removed. This is a great idea when measuring power, running tests or adjusting the laser.

22. If your doing a public demonstration, such as a laser show, keep the beams 2 meters horizontal and three meters vertical from the highest public access point, downrange of the laser or scanners. Never leave a operating laser unattended, make sure you have a way of doing a "emergency kill" and never leave the controls in the hands of untrained persons.

23. Mark the entrance of your work area with the proper Hazard Warning sign.

24. Control access to your device with a lock on the storage area and/or a keyswitch as required. Remove the keyswitch when not using the laser or when your done for the day.

25. Emission indicators are a must when wearing laser goggles and are required on most IIIA, all IIIb, and Class IV lasers. Make sure the goggles block the laser light but not the indicator light.

26. Its a good idea to make a bench top beam dump that contains the beam and is built solidly so it cannot roll away or fall over.

27. Adjust at low power and work your way up.

28. Control access to your work area.

29. While a few mW of dim red might be a great exercise tool once in a long while for Fido or Fluffy, keep the laser light away from pets. A blind pet is just as bad off as a blind human.

30. Pilots are allowed to fly at night with their lights off, at their discretion. They are required to report laser light incidents when seen, keep the beams out of airspace and off of apartment buildings and radio towers. Remember, helicopters can fly between buildings, such as when landing at a hospital, so there is no such thing as too low. A few microwatts is enough to distract some times. This goes for ground and sea transport as well.


Steve
 
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JonWienke

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The last thing we need is more nanny state big government intervention in our lives. Taking personal responsibility for one's behavior, whether with a laser, chain saw, power tool, knife, firearm, or anything else that can be used to cause injury, is far more effective than government regulation with regard to preventing injuries and accidents. Stupid behavior is encouraged when people are not held accountable for their actions.

I applaud Wicked's efforts to warn potential customers of the hazards associated with their higher-powered lasers (especially the new 1-watt Arctic), and the efforts of forum members to warn and educate new laser owners regarding the dangers of high-powered devices. But I do not want the government getting involved in laser regulation any more than it already is. Do you really want the same people managing the Deepwater Horizon disaster telling you what kind of lasers you can have?
 

DuramaxDiesel02

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Just like other people said, you cannot call people who cannot afford more expensive lasers such as $800-$1000 immature or not a safe person.
I am for sure going to buy this as soon as some of my ebay auctions end.
And I will be safe with it,not letting my friends use it is one way.
 

Dr_Evil

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I'm going to chime in on this since I have a 445 built now. Mine is putting out ~370mW with the aixis lens. The safety glasses I'm using are the ones I got from scopeguy for 405nm lasers. The output from the 445 isn't even enough to register anything on my LPM while shining it through the lens of the safety glasses.
 

LSRFAQ

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Some reading material:

The short course on why to be concerned:


http://jrm.phys.ksu.edu/Safety/LaserSafety.pdf

Granted the pictures mainly involve damage from short pulse lasers, but there are one or two CW injuries described as well. It does not take much CW power to produce similar results.

Steve
 




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