Welcome to Laser Pointer Forums - discuss green laser pointers, blue laser pointers, and all types of lasers



Laser Pointer Store

Laser Institute of America weighs in on handheld 445nm

WRM

New member
Joined
Dec 3, 2008
Messages
227
Likes
5
Points
0
This article was in Photonics Spectra two days ago. The Laser Institute of America weighs in on handheld 445nm lasers. It's really nothing new; but it confirms everything that we've been saying regarding 445nm safety; and it comes from a well respected entity (LIA). Please read it as you await the delivery of your 445nm laser (especially if you ever thought that we over hype laser safety on this forum). Thanks, Bill


LIA: Class 4 Portable Lasers Pose Risks (photonics.com | Aug 2010 | Business)
 

Trevor

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 17, 2009
Messages
4,513
Likes
548
Points
113
Thanks for the link. It'll be interesting to watch what else comes through the pipeline on 445nm.

-Trevor
 

Spartan X

New member
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
241
Likes
9
Points
0
I wish they would provide more technical spec's as to why it is so dangerous and the science behind it. It would make for a interesting read, especially from a source that is supposed to understand it the most.
 

WRM

New member
Joined
Dec 3, 2008
Messages
227
Likes
5
Points
0
Even without the exact technical specs, my hope was that an article from a well respected source would show all that are new to this hobby that eye safety is serious business. Now it's not just "a bunch of guys on a forum" preaching eye safety and the unusual pitfalls of 445nm light. Bill
 
Joined
Nov 7, 2008
Messages
5,728
Likes
281
Points
0
So I'm a HUGE proponent of laser safety, but there's too much sensationalism involved in a lot of this new hype.. even in this article. It drives me nuts.

"Class 4" lasers cover a HUGE range of power levels, from 500mW to many kW. While it is true that diffuse reflections from MANY Class 4 lasers can cause eye injuries, lasers in the 500mW-1W range or less are not likely to cause eye damage from diffuse reflections. Reflections from glass or any other type of specular reflections are a whole different story and can cause instant, massive damage to ocular tissue even at powers FAR less than Class 4. Also, while it is true that many Class 4 lasers can start fires very quickly, at the power ranges produced by these specific 445nm diodes sparking a fire (actual open flame) in anything under a moment or two of continuous exposure on a surface is highly unlikely. Basically at these power levels (500mW-1W) a person would pretty much have to set out purposefully with the idea of starting a fire in mind, or they would have to leave the laser on and unattended for a relatively long period of time. I'd be surprised to see accidental instant combustion or anything uncontrollable.. not that it's impossible of course.

So to recap, Class 4 lasers are EXTREMELY dangerous and GREAT CARE must be taken in their usage... but I just wish a lot of these people who are writing about how these new portables are going to bring blindness and armageddon to the whole world in general would inject a little reality into their arguments instead of melodrama. I guess one could say "better safe than sorry" but it still irks me.
 
Last edited:

oic0

New member
Joined
Jun 15, 2010
Messages
289
Likes
6
Points
0
All these people just have the goal of getting attention for themselves, getting website hits, getting readership. The unintended consequence is they are going to stir up some legislation. They don't really care about that though, since it doesn't affect them and people don't care about the rights of others.
 

Spartan X

New member
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
241
Likes
9
Points
0
All these people just have the goal of getting attention for themselves, getting website hits, getting readership. The unintended consequence is they are going to stir up some legislation. They don't really care about that though, since it doesn't affect them and people don't care about the rights of others.
That's why I want the technical talk as to why it is dangerous so that we can see specifically what situations and uses make for a unsafe environment. Education would be more effective IMO rather then blind direction.

It's like telling teens out right with no good explanation not to have sex...and expect them to obey and believe that your right just because your older. Rather then explaining to them the process and consequences of sex, allowing them to come to the same decision for the same reasons as you have reached yours.(bad analogy but same idea)

Honestly, Wicked Lasers did a better job at explaining the dangers, heh.
 
Joined
Nov 7, 2008
Messages
5,728
Likes
281
Points
0
To be fair, the vast majority of the article is 100% accurate. The ony thing that I don't like is where they lump all class 4 lasers together:
Class 4 lasers emit enough energy to be hazardous to the eye or skin from a direct beam, or indirectly reflected laser light. Even exposure to reflections scattered off of a matte surface may cause an eye injury. They are also considered a fire hazard.
While the above highlights are true of many class 4 lasers of higher power output, neither one is necessarily true of these particular lasers due to the fact that they are at the bottom end of Class 4. There is a difference in danger between a CNI "1W" 445nm portable and a 50W q-swithed 532nm YAG used for surgery, but they are both Class 4 lasers. As for the rest of the article: Spot On!
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 11, 2008
Messages
731
Likes
26
Points
0
Thankfully the distance to cause such damage from diffuse exposure of a 1w 445nm is fairly short, about 8 inches to get over 1mw into the eye at about a watt of power, assuming a fully dilated pupil. Other inexpensive lasers like the SSY-1 can barbecue your eye from over 3 meters away from a matte reflection...
 




Top