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UK: "Call for evidence" response summarizes many groups' views on laser eye, plane incidents; sets forth actions

[NOTE: This news item includes commentary from LaserPointerSafety.com, as we feel the U.K. report is a must-read which gives important guidance on laser pointer hazards and actions.]

The U.K. government published on January 8 2018 a 14-page report on laser pointer safety and potential regulation. The report includes two new actions the government will take to reduce the number and risk of unsafe laser pointers:

     1) “strengthening safeguards to stop high-powered lasers entering the country”, and
     2) “working with manufacturers and retailers to [voluntarily] improve labeling.

Separately, the U.K. government published the Laser Misuse (Vehicles) Bill on December 20 2017. This makes it illegal to point a laser at vehicles, with a prison term of up to five years and an unlimited fine.

“Laser pointers: call for evidence - government response”


From August 12 to October 6 2017, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy opened a “Call for Evidence” consultation. BEIS set forth 19 questions, asking the public to give their views on laser pointer hazards and what actions to take.

The January 8 2018 government response summarizes the 265 responses received.

The report is especially useful because it incorporates the views of many disparate groups: pilots (64% of respondents), “concerned members of the public” (14%), professional laser safety advisors (9%), users of laser pointers (6%), ophthalmologists (6%), and Trading Standards authorities (2%).

The report then distills these views, finding surprising commonality. It is a good overview for the non-expert on two topics:

     1) Actual laser pointer hazards — separating fact from fear
     2) Potential actions to reduce the number and severity of laser pointer injuries and incidents — including what actions may not work (e.g., licensing).

We have summarized the findings below (click the “read more” link). However, reading the complete document is well worth the time of anyone interested in this issue.
Click to read more...

US: Apple repair guidelines include laser damage to iPhone cameras

Apple iPhone cameras are damaged often enough by laser light that the company has repair guidelines for replacing the camera.

A few pages and graphics were leaked from a 22-page Apple document, the March 3 2017 “Visual/Mechanical Inspection Guide,” including this page showing the service eligibility for common problems:

Pic 2017-09-05 at 2.21.43 PM

The page lists common items such as liquid damage, broken screens, cracks — and “Damage due to laser contact with camera.”

Pic 2017-09-05 at 2.21.24 PM


It is likely that elsewhere in the leaked document are details about the laser damage, along with other example photos. However, only a few pages of the document were publicly revealed.

A page like this was first revealed in 2014. The document leaked September 1 2017 covers Apple’s most current iPhones: 6, 6S, 7 and associated “Plus” versions.

From Business Insider via MacRumors.

US: Apple repair guide lists laser damage to camera as a service item

Laser damage to the iPhone camera is listed as one of Apple’s “Out-of-Warranty Service” items, along with liquid damage, cracks and fractures, and bent phones.

This information comes from a 2014 “Visual/Mechanical Inspection” guide provided by Apple to authorized repair centers. An image from the document was provided by a worker to Consumer Reports’ Consumerist blog. In the upper right is the laser damage information:

Apple iPhone laser damage

This item is relatively new. Laser damage is not mentioned in the 2012 version of the iPhone Visual/Mechanical Inspection Guide.

From the Consumerist. For more on laser damage to consumer cameras and camcorders, see our Lasers and camera damage page.

US: Army Research Laboratory works on laser protection for eyes, sensors, etc.

An article on Military.com discusses the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, and its work to protect people, sensors and equipment from laser damage. ARL has done this type of work for almost 20 years.

Laser protection team leader Andy Mott was quoted as saying “Lasers of varying pulse width and wavelength are being developed every day. We protect against the known threats, and unknown ones. We develop protection for electronic sensors of the future, as well as the sighting systems of today.”

More details are at the Military.com story

World: Discussion of how lasers damage imaging sensors

A June 2013 discussion on the Image Sensors World blog is about how “concert lasers” can damage image sensors. The discussion begins with a few videos showing damage to high-end cameras such as the RED Epic and a Canon 5D Mark II. Then participants give their ideas for how this damage occurs.

This is being posted because some persons may find the ideas presented to be useful. An additional resource is a page at the International Laser Display Association, about
damage to cameras at laser light shows.

From Image Sensors World