Level 1 lasers - eye damage?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Spgkr, May 10, 2008.

  1. Spgkr

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 5, 2008
    5
    0
    I was reading a tutorial on taking my PS2 apart (which I followed), and the author made a couple of references to "level 1 lasers". S/he was saying they can potentially blind you, I was wondering if this is actually true or if it's a misunderstanding? I only ask as i've worked with exposed lasers quite a bit and my vision is a-ok (In fact, i'd say I have above-average eyesight, probably equal to that of Superman's).:eek:
     
  2. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
    5,699
    907
    This explains laser classification:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_safety

    Most pointers were Class IIIb in the old system(<5 mW). Class I is less dangerous. Like anything, just be careful. Class I devices are reasonably safe. John
     
  3. hgmjr

    Moderator

    Jan 28, 2005
    9,030
    214
    It is a good idea never to stare directly into any laser no matter the Classification. Even Blue and White LEDs can cause some damage if the eye is allowed to focus on it for a sufficiently lengthy period.

    An investment in safety eyewear is a good idea if you are going to be working around lasers on a regular basis.

    hgmjr
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2008
  4. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,766
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    As was said, ANY laser can do damage if it is misapplied. The class 3's depend on some dispertion before hitting the eye, if the full 5 mw is input for any length of time then there will be damage.

    A general rule of safety is never, ever let a beam hit you in the eye. It might not do damage, but who wants to take the chance? The other thing low power lasers depend on is the natural avoidence reflex, if a really bright light shines in your eyes the natural reaction is to move your head and/or shield your eyes.

    I've had the pleasure of aligning high power lasers, and replacing 16W CO2 units if they went down. I would not call myself an expert, but I've had some training in the field.

    I don't let kids play with laser pointers, and am careful around my pets. Having said that I have a 65 pound laser guided attack dog. The cat takes over when the dog is outside, he ain't no dummy. Newer green lasers are reaching some impressive power levels too, so don't assume any laser pointer is safe.
     
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