Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: VERY VERY SCARY THREAD / Pointer injuries.

  1. #1
    mixedgas's Avatar
    mixedgas is online now Creaky Old Award Winning Bastard Technologist
    Infinitus Excellentia Ion Laser Dominatus
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    A lab with some dripping water on the floor.
    Posts
    9,543

    Default VERY VERY SCARY THREAD / Pointer injuries.

    I never read CPF, after working for one of the first companies to market
    LED flashlights, I learned it was piled high and deep over there. CPF is driven by marketers and populated by a lot of uneducated people. But this thread got my attention:
    Do note the &^%$ $hithead who cited the army study never noted the beam diameter on a 500 mW "dazzler" is 6 inches or more.

    warning, you may throw up when you read this:


    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=167718

    Steve

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    4,382

    Default

    There's a lot of eye injuries going on right now due to the coherent beam being readily available to the general public (unlike it used to be) - so it was bound to happen and the fda/cdrh will step in as soon as the focus of the populus is off of Iraq and the presidential election I'm sure..

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    SOUTHAMPTON U.K.
    Posts
    1,357

    Default

    I will copy the post I made over there. This illustrates how even exterienced laserists can have "bad days" as well.

    I have been working professionally with lasers for almost 10 years. Back then, there were no DPSS lasers aroud, just big heavy argons and kryptons. A laser typically weighed 60 lbs, needed a 100lb 3 phase power supply and generated a whole load of heat. They were also fragile and didnt like being moved around much. After all, most were designed to be used in laboratory conditions. Operating one on top of a scaffold tower in a club full of smoke and haze was never what they were intended to do.

    Having spent the equivalent of $5000 on your new toy, you kind of looked after it, the 400 volts @30 amps electricity supply and 2 gallons of water a minute were never a good combination!! Therefore utmost respect, almost to the level of paranoia was given to laser equipment. Admittedly, we used to do the cigarette lighting trick (at arms length), but that was about it.

    Unfortunately, with the advent of cheap mass produced DPSS lasers that are available for the cost of a decent torch, much of the respect for what is essentially a piece of industrial equipment has been lost. Nowadays, kids can buy lasers with the money they make for doing a paper round for a few weeks. The laser has become little more than a toy and as such, everyone is "showing off" their latest acquisition without regard for the consequences.

    A friend of mine who is also a professional laserist, has a severe eye injury caused by a laser. After sending a 2W argon laser off for regassing, he was checking it over before firing it up. With ion lasers, you need the cathode to warm up for a few seconds before arcing. After regassing, it is essential to have the cathode running for a while longer before the first strike is attempted. My friend was (carelessly) looking into the back of the tube to check the cathode was glowing nicely, when the tube ignited. Unknown to him, the tube had been refitted the wrong way round and he got a 2W argon beam into the eye from about 4" away. This accident happened over 6 years ago and to this day he still has a large black spot in his vision.

    Please treat lasers with the utmost respect, they are not toys by any means. Misuse them and they will bite back, hard. You dont get a second chance, its too late. Be warned, play safe.

  4. #4
    mixedgas's Avatar
    mixedgas is online now Creaky Old Award Winning Bastard Technologist
    Infinitus Excellentia Ion Laser Dominatus
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    A lab with some dripping water on the floor.
    Posts
    9,543

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by steve-o View Post
    There's a lot of eye injuries going on right now due to the coherent beam being readily available to the general public (unlike it used to be) - so it was bound to happen and the fda/cdrh will step in as soon as the focus of the populus is off of Iraq and the presidential election I'm sure..

    CDHR has about 5 employees assigned to lasers and they all have other duties, mostly with medical stuff. The guys who wrote the rules and have the experience are all retiring or about to retire. We're in trouble from that respect. CDRH dispite many invatations, has never attended a ilda or LFX conference. I've been at this since 1988,and CDRH does not seem to be proactive, except during the Vegas incident when it was used as a means to make the then current FDA director look like a hero in shutting down lasers. FAA/DOD finally made the new rules after that incident, and its not even in their jurisdiction.

    FAA changes laser show contact people and phone numbers every 3 to 6 months, making it very difficult to get a consistant answer anyways.

    So I doubt CDRH has anything to do with IRAQ.

    Steve

  5. #5
    mixedgas's Avatar
    mixedgas is online now Creaky Old Award Winning Bastard Technologist
    Infinitus Excellentia Ion Laser Dominatus
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    A lab with some dripping water on the floor.
    Posts
    9,543

    Default

    [I know pros have a bad day.

    Its not the pro/am thing. Its the lack of accurate knowledge thing and the attitude thing.

    What worries me about the CF post is the fact that nobody had a good set of accurate facts give that kid in a hurry. I know other pros and many research scientists who have burns or damage,its not a pro/am thing

    What also worries me is the easy way it happened to him. US customs, whose job it is to intercept these things, is asleep at the wheel.

    If that happened to a PL member tomarrow, could we give good advice?


    Steve

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Flying over a town near you
    Posts
    1,404

    Default

    It seems as if they see this as a joke or a right of passage.....comment made in one post about "welcome to the tattoed retina club". That is scary. What happened to the mentality of these young people? I have seen too much of this but there is no way to stop it. There are warnings,labels and tons of info that a few like me read and rely on a daily basis. I have one laser here that can pour out more than 18 watts of 808nm in a very small beam. Safety is paramount. No second chances. It is unregulated,a lot of lasers and parts in equipment worldwide....too many sources. I just hope that this will not effect the show/hobbiest end of the arena.
    You are the only one that can make your dreams come true....and the only one that can stop them...A.M. Dietrich

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    1 hr from everything in SoCal
    Posts
    2,607

    Default It's Sad

    I think we all forget what is was like to be young. I remember things that I did when I was 15/16 and I think now, how lucky I was that I never hurt myself. I am sure there is a fair share of us who snuck out the parents' car or tried to one up our friends by doing something dangerous. Long term effects don't come to mind. I don't buy the psychobabble of "they think they are invincible". It isn't that, I think that it is not having the life experience of when things going badly awry, what the consequences are. Now that I am older, I respect the little label that says "Do not hold in hand, light fuse and get away", but I didn't when I was younger. "Welcome to the tattooed retina club"? That sounds to me like scared kid who is trying to pass off their own stupidity by making light of a situation.

    Once again, we are faced with something that needs to have an age limit. These are dangerous devices, they have always been, there should be an age limit to purchase these. If a parent wants to buy their kid a 200mW Wicked laser, then it is their responsibility. They should read up on all of the dangers and take them into account. Will they? Who knows, but it is a start.

    I find it unfortunate that in the long run, I think it is going to get tougher and tougher for the laser community. The thing that scares me the most about all of this is all of the misinformation people posted there. Stuff from the FDA, stuff from the Military, and stuff from people who have no idea what they are talking about. Too many sources of information coming in, all different. I think most of the poeple there missed the point. The point is, a laser is a potentially dangerous device. 1mW or 1W. They should all be treated with the utmost respect. It doesn't matter the length of exposure, or the power, it is exposure, and it is not good. Well, we all know that here (I hope at least). No one really made that point. Anyone to flirted with it was shot down by someone touting something they read somewhere that kind of dealt with lasers.

    Oh well, that was my 2 pennies. I know there are many posts here talking about this but I wanted to comment about this one because these are kids. Please don't flame me.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    1 hr from everything in SoCal
    Posts
    2,607

    Default

    Hey QUAZAR,

    I had a colleague of mine go blind in one eye from a Coherent I90 tube that wasn't even lasing. He had the HR set, and before mounting the OC, he did the same thing, looked down the bore to check the cathode. The tube flashed and killed vision in his eye just from the light of the plasma.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    4,382

    Default

    So I doubt CDRH has anything to do with IRAQ.
    Re-read my post, please, that's not what I said

    I do hate it that kids are getting hurt, and I agree with the age limit restriction. That would be a good thing. Probably would be hard to enforce though, unless laser pointers were re-classified under the jurisdiction of another gov't agency; one who controls alcohol and firearms among other things...

    Even though the CDRH is understaffed, people (kids or not) are aiming their laser pointers at police helicopters/ aircraft, getting a lot of public attention, and something will happen, even if it's not a FDA/CDRH legislative action.

    I do hope that it doesn't affect the entertainment industry.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Sheepsville, Wales, UK
    Posts
    3,396

    Default

    I would tend to agree with Absolom to a point. Yes I think we all have things we did when we were young that we can look back on and wonder how we got away with it but I certainly had more common sense than most kids and many adults today. Hell when I was in school in the '70s I knew a laser could blind me! Nobody seems to respect dangerous things, on numerous occasions I have had kids walk out in the road in front of my car an give me the 'i dare you to run me down' look - they dont seem to have any concept of whats gonna hurt them.
    A good pal of mine and a member on PL here has a theory about this - its just Darwin's natural selection. Modern life prevents NS from operating in the more traditional way, so its developed and take this new form. I have to say I totally agree.
    It dont take Einstien to know that you dont clean your chainsaw with it running.

    Rob

    PS If you are wondering - I always speed up and aim.
    If you need to ask the question 'whats so good about a laser' - you won't understand the answer.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Laserists do it by the nanometre.

    Stanwax Laser is a Corporate Member of Ilda

    Stanwax Laser main distributor of First Contact in UK - like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/FirstContactPolymerCleaner
    www.photoniccleaning.co.uk

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •