A comprehensive resource for safe and responsible laser use

Iceland: Teen injures both eyes playing with 90 mW laser pointer

A 13-year-old Icelandic boy was “seriously” injured in both eyes after playing with a 90 milliwatt laser pointer purchased outside the country. He was said to have lost central vision in one eye.

The teen was treated at Landspitali University Hospital in Reykjavik. The head physician at the Department of Ophthalmology says the hospital has never seen such a severe case of laser pointer injury.
An automatic translated version of a press release from the Icelandic Radiation Safety Authority is below.

From News of Iceland, Icelandic Radiation Safety Authority

From the Icelandic Radiation Safety Authority, machine-translated by Google

May 30 2013

Radiation Protection Institute was earlier this week reported severe eye injury that could have caused leysibendis [blindness?]. Ophthalmologists in the hospital receiving treatment for a 13 year boy who has harmed both eyes and lost central vision in the other after their game with the laser pointer.

Einar Stefansson professor and department head physician eye hospital says he has not seen before as an example of serious eye injuries caused leysibendis. Radiation Safety reiterate that laser pointers are not toys and encourage parents to take the laser point of her children.

Solving point, never direct the eye. If the laser beam is directed at the eye closed eye power, but it may be too late if the solvent is powerful. Solving point with more power than 1 mW called powerful. These laser pointers are Class 3 and Class 4 according to international standards. Imports their notification obligations and permission is required from the State Radiation for their use.

Loose pointer that caused the damage was purchased abroad, but laser pointers of similar type have been for sale at Iceland. According to the meaning of his strength is less than 100 mW. Radiation Safety Measure power laser pointer device that was found to be 90 mW. The following chart shows him along with other similar solvents indicates that the meaning of a reduced capacity than 5 mW and his strength was measured to be 20 mW.

Police in the West Fjords suggested recently seized and confiscated powerful laser pointer of the same type discussed here (<100mW) and suspicion that he was directed to the eyes of drivers. Whoever did it is expected fines for the use of rapid leysibendis without permission Radiation Protection Institute.

Due to rapid technological laser pointers have become cheaper and more powerful. Green laser pointer is 1 mW seen well in daylight and no need for stronger laser pointer at a lecture. These laser pointers are class 2 according to international standards.

Further information Þorgeir Sigurdsson ts@gr.is

An earlier article Radiation state matters Norwegian girl blinded by identical leysibendis.