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Scared of my brother's laser..reasonable?

VioletSky

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Hello :)

I'm new, and I actually don't plan on staying here because I'm not all that interested in this laser pointer stuff (sorry..), but the following things happened, and they made me join this forum:

A couple of days ago, my 13 year old younger brother got back from a trip to Spain (I live in Germany) where he bought a laser pointer for, I dunno, 20 euros or something.
At first, I didn't care about that, but then he proudly told me that it's illegal to sell them in our country because they're dangerous. I looked that up and found many horrendous information about how it's illegal to use them outside, that they can cause serious eye damage etc.

Now I'm honestly kinda scared of that thing. You know, he's 13, and he points at everything and everyone rather randomly.
So, I wanted to ask some 'experts', you guys, if this laser pointer is seriously dangerous, or if it's just me being paranoid.

Here's the data:
-Green laser
-Max output power <200mW
-532nm +-10

That's what its label says, and I'm unsure what that means.. physics wasn't my favourite subject..
I hope you can tell me whether this is dangerous for they eyes or not :yh:
Thanks!
 



blue led

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If it is truly 200mw than yes it is VERY dangerous and can easily cause damage to his,yours and anyone else's eyes he shines it at.your post says that he shines it at people and if this is so then i am sorry for him but i don't think he is responsible enough to have a laser of this power yet.
i think the best way to deal with this is to break the laser without him knowing you did it and let him just think that it broke itself.
There may be some that disagree with me but this is my opinion.
I think the easiest way to break it would be to supply it with to much power so if you can hook it up to a car battery and that should kill the driver.
 

DTR

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Yes anything over 5mW can cause injury or blindness. If the label is accurate which it could be a lot less or a lot more it is saying it is 40X the safe limit to use without proper eye protection. A direct hit in the eye could seriously injure or blind someone and it very dangerous. It is not a toy.
 

ryansoh3

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Hi, welcome to LPF.

I'm glad that you have researched on your younger brother's behalf on the dangers of laser pointers.

Judging by the label <200mW, the power can be anywhere between 0mW to 200mW, so we can't pinpoint what its actual output is. However, judging by the 20 euro price, I suspect it's about 30 to 50mW. Can you see the beam during the day or night?

Anything above 5mW can cause eye damage. Plus, the laser is green, meaning that it was invisible IR radiation as well. This is harmful because it damages your eye while you don't notice and/or feel it.

Are your parents informed that your brother owns a dangerous laser? If not, you might want to explain its dangers and have your brother monitored while he uses it. You might feel guilty of being a tattletale, but you'll save people's eyesights and possible lawsuits as well.

Again, thanks for asking about the safety of your brother's laser, and it IS quite dangerous.

Hope you enjoy your (temporary) stay here.

Cheers! :beer:

Edit: Wow, two guys already beat me to it. :crackup:
 
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VioletSky

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Thanks for your answers!

Woah, that sounds pretty bad. I suppose breaking it won't be easy, especially with a car battery, since I'm only 16 and a girl :yabbem: Any other ways to break it without him noticing it was me?

You can see the beam at night, but it's not very intense.. my mother is informed, she was present when he bought it, but she doesn't care. I guess I'll have to talk to her again.

Lastly, I just read that it's dangerous as well when the beam hits a reflective surface and then someone's eye, and well, that happened to me yesterday when he was 'pointing around'... it hit my one eye for less than a second and it hurt for a short time, but I didn't notice anything else.. could my eye still be injured? :undecided:
 

ryansoh3

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Judging by your description of the beam's visibility during the night, it's probably 20-50mW, which still is plenty of power to cause eye damage.

To "try" breaking it, you might want to take out the batteries and insert them the other way around. If the laser is cheap enough, the circuit might fry and the laser will be damaged.

If that doesn't work, an obvious way is to dip it in water. Hope you don't get blamed for it. :crackup:

Uh oh, that doesn't sound too good. Did the laser beam hit something like a mirror and then bounce into your eye or something less reflective? If you see halos in your vision because of the laser, you definitely should visit an optometrist.

Sounds like your brother is being irresponsible with the laser. I suggest getting it off his hands either by breaking it or having your parents confiscate it.

Best wishes.
 

bdgreenb

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532 are dpss if you can drop it hard enough you can jiggle to crystals free, but that would just give him a 808nm IR laser that he would probably look into to see why it isnt working (last thing he will ever see). I would just throw it away. "everything and everyone" <- last thing you want to point lasers at.
 

ryansoh3

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532 are dpss if you can drop it hard enough you can jiggle to crystals free, but that would just give him a 808nm IR laser that he would probably look into to see why it isnt working (last thing he will ever see). I would just throw it away. "everything and everyone" <- last thing you want to point lasers at.
Excellent point. Don't drop the laser.

Simply explained, a green laser works by converting infra red into the color green using a crystal. However, if you misplace the crystal, the laser will no longer emit a green beam; instead, IR radiation will come out, and it's power will be 100-200mW, which will definitely damage the eye. If the crystal is misplaced, your brother will probably look directly into the IR beam, blinding himself. It might be a dark red color, but the human eye can't accurately see IR.

Cheers! :beer:
 

VioletSky

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Thanks again! I'll talk to my mother tomorrow, and if she doesn't do anything, little laser's going to have a date with the washbowl. :)
Also, thanks for pointing the thing with the dropping out. I would've probably done that, but now..

The laser hit glass (but not a mirror), less than a meter away from my eye and then bounced into it. Yet, I don't see any halos or somethign else. But since I'm gonna visit an optometrist this week anyway due to getting contacts, I'm just praying that nothing happened..

I'm really grateful for your fast and accurate answers!
 

benmwv

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If you want to break it I would take a screwdriver and bust out the lens in the front. Just put the screw driver in the end and then tap it with a hammer or something until the glass busts out. Without that lens it will behave more like a flashlight, having a "cone" coming out instead of a thin beam. With the output unfocussed it wouldn't be dangerous anymore. Lay it on the floor next to where he put it so he will think it rolled off and broke.

The circuitry in a green laser isn't very complex, I doubt putting it under water would break it. A day to dry out and I bet it would work just fine.
 
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MadEye

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I would try to tape down the button and let it lay for 15-30 minutes... I think it should overheat and die quite fast...

Also maybe some other kind of heat deaths? Does a laserpointer survive a few seconds in a microwave? (Not longer then a few seconds, I guess these cheapy laser pointers will burn down...)
 

Lethere Belight

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Try putting the batteries in backwards. If its a cheapo with no reverse polarity protection it will blow out.
 

jakeGT

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Just take it and throw it in a lake. Go to acting school and learn how to act. Act like you have no idea what happened to it.

Win.
 

AnthoT

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Just take it and throw it in a lake. Go to acting school and learn how to act. Act like you have no idea what happened to it.

Win.
I think that would be the most effective method :D
 

daawood123

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grip it with tongs and hold the top in a flame (stovetop etc) for about 5min max. wipe of the black residue after and pretend you dont know what happened to it, its probably the easiest way of killing the laser without a chance of it still lasing.
 




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