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Thoughts on the danger posed by laser pointers

17.12.2021 - Laser protection, Laser application, Blog, News, Website

For several years now, a spectre has been circulating in the press: the danger to eyesight posed by laser pointers. Apart from the actual danger, there are also some myths about it: As a perpetrator, you have to be extremely accurate to keep a laser beam in the centre of the opponent's pupil for even a fraction of a second over a distance of 100 m (e.g. a football referee) to 1000 m (e.g. a pilot of an aircraft on approach). This is in fact a prerequisite for retinal damage. It may also be taken into account that a hazard through window panes is usually due to glare caused by light scattering in the window material. A blinded pilot then has to take off, but this rarely means a higher risk. The glare of a bus driver from a motorway bridge is likely to be much more dangerous.

Of course, the hazard may be magnified by higher laser power. But the question is whether these are still commercially available, CE-compliant laser pointers. And one can only protect oneself against misuse of stronger laser beam sources by using laser protection windows or constantly wearing suitable laser protection glasses. Unfortunately, this requires blocking the corresponding spectral section, which can lead to considerable losses in light transmission.

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