Eye Damage from Laser Pointers
In December 1997 the US Federal Drug Administration (FDA) issued
a warning to parents about children using laser pointers as toys.
light energy that laser pointers can aim into the eye can
be more damaging than staring directly into the sun"
This warning applied to laser pointers which met US safety standards
and carried a warning label.
In Australia there now appears to be available low cost laser pointers
which do not necessarily comply with any safety standards.
are being used by children as toys. The eye damage might be spot
that is not readily detectable except by an expert. As well as the risk
to friends and other victims there is concern that motorists could be
blinded if struck by a laser beam.
A note from Mr. Maurits
The tiny spot of the beam is focussed on the retina where it
thermal injury. The doctors I consulted think that it will cure. I just
finished a press release for the dutch news agency on my case. I
suffer from pain now for more than 6 weeks and nobody knows how
this will last. I am working on an english version.In the Netherlands
are forbidden since april 97. A world wide action however is needed,
there are many countires where they are still legally available.
I was attacked by one of my pupils during my physics lesson in year 4
6 years pre-university education 12-18 years dutch school system) . The
school (where I started this summer) refuses to punish the boy who did
it . I have talked about this with members of parliament and asked for
an international ban on these laser pointers. Maybe we can start an
campaign, most people are not aware of the danger. (See Düsseldorf
link for more)
Here is a list of references provided by Maurits:
De laserpen als aanwijsstok niet aangetoond gevaarlijk voor de ogen,
Norren, Keunen, Vos ned tijdschrift der Geneeskunde 1998 5
Verkoop laserpointers onmiddellijk verboden, NVS nieuws 23 jaargasng
mei 98, G. Eggink, RIVM Bilthoven
Laserpointers tegen het licht gehouden , risiko-evaluatie, rapport nr
03 Gezondheidsraad Den Haag.Parnassusplein 5, 2511 VX Den Haag, tel :
Are Laserpointers A danger to the eye? P.Hering, D Kleine, S Stry,
für Lasermedizin, Heinrich Heine University ,Düsseldorf,
Laser Pointers Endanger Retina ?! ? P.Hering, S Stry, Institute
Lasermedizin, Heinrich Heine University ,Düsseldorf, Germany
Augenschäden durch Laserpointer, presseerklärung im Rahmen
96. Tagung der Deutschen Ophtalmologischen Gesellschaft 19-22 sep 98
Laserpointer können die Augen schädigen, Bundesamt fur
Bern, Zwitsertland http://www.admin.ch/bag
Princeton University Laser Safety Training Guide http://www.princeton.edu/~ehs/laserguide/section_2.htm
Advocacy at the State House, American Academy of Ophtalmology, sep 18,
Praktijkgids arbeidsveiligheid 1999, ARBO , hoofdstuk 18.7 lasers
Br J Ophthalmol 1999 Oct;83(10):1164-1167 Laser pointers revisited: a
of 14 patients attending casualty at theBristol Eye Hospital.
Sethi CS, Grey RH, Hart CD .The Bristol Eye Hospital, Lower Maudlin
Bristol BS1 2LX.
Health Risks From The Use Of Laser Pointers, World Health Organization,
Geneva, Switzerland, fact sheet 202, july 1998
From Valinda, USA, March
I was struck in the eyes with a laser point, I think a cheaper
But since being injured I have had migrane headaches and with the
headaches there is shooting I pain in the eye and head. Eye
no structural damage but something happened to my head via my
the day I had the laser point incident. My headache expert
has me on
blood pressure and anti-depressant pills for the pain because
not any migrane medicines. I have reported this injury to
the FDA, but
I do not think they are taken the injuries from these pointers
There appears to be little information on the Internet about this
Suggestions for links to be added to this page should be sent to Michael
If you are concerned about the issue it is suggested that you
it with your local Member of Parliament, who should refer that concern
to the State and Federal Health Ministers.