Green Laser Dangers

I’ve heard about the dangers of green laser pointers before, although I didn’t pay too much attention because the only time I saw one used was during an astronomy presentation in a national park. Green lasers are brighter than red ones, and the green light can travel high into the sky, which is why star gazers often use green lasers for pointing out features like planets and constellations.

But a friend of ours just told us that her older son, a commercial pilot, had a green laser beam pointed at him while landing at an airport. This is not only distracting but very dangerous, because the pilot needs to see the runway when landing a plane full of people.

So I decided to learn more about green laser pointers. Since they’re relatively inexpensive and widely available now, even at Amazon, that means anyone can buy them. But such devices are not toys and should never be given to someone who doesn’t know how to use them properly or who is irresponsible.

Never, ever point lasers at anyone, or aim them in a direction where someone might be! Even a 5 mW laser can temporarily blind someone at short range. Further eye damage can often linger for days or even be permanent. A laser reflected inadvertently off of an optical surface such as a car window or mirror can do just as much damage as a direct aim.

For more comprehensive information about laser pointer hazards and safe use, see http://www.laserpointersafety.com

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