i) a minimum viewing distance of 130 mm and
ii) a maximum viewing time of 10 seconds
It has been noted that some of the new pointers, which are readily available in the UK including both red and green devices, are more powerful than is appropriate. These devices pose a significant risk of eye injury to anyone exposed to the beam (5 to 500 mW’s). In addition, the classification of laser pointers from certain suppliers has been shown to be inadequate and many are incorrectly labelled. This is particularly concerning with the introduction of green laser pointers.
The eye is more sensitive to green light and so, although the power output may be similar, a green laser will appear brighter than a red laser. A correctly classified low powered green laser pointer should still pose a low risk, but individuals may experience some form of after image when it is displayed on a projection screen, particularly when viewed from close-by.
If the green laser pointer is incorrectly classified, particularly one that emits a pulse of energy, then the risk may be significant. If in doubt please don’t use the pointer.
It is the policy of The University of York that any laser pointers used by staff and students must have a power output of <1mW (Class 1 and Class 2 in accordance with BS EN 60825-1).
Laser pointers above Class 2 MUST NOT BE USED.
Laser pointers should only be used as a pointing device and securely stored when not in use. Persons who use laser pointers should ensure that they are aware of potential hazards and they should comply with the basic instructions.
Instructions for use
When operating laser pointers, users must ensure that they use them in a safe manner and do not expose themselves or others to the beam. Laser pointers are not to be modified in any way.
Your laser pointer must be labelled to indicate its classification. The label should look similar to the one shown below:
If your laser pointer does not have such a label, or the label indicates that it is a class greater than 2, then it must NOT be used at The University of York.
Conditions of use
Further guidance on laser pointers can be found on the HPA’s website: