Radiation safety authorities propose a European ban on powerful laser pointers

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Published 12.11.2010, updated 01.10.2014 14:21

Keywords: Lasers

The European Commission should ban powerful laser pointers for use by the general public. What's more, the European Union should introduce import restrictions on powerful laser pointers. These are proposals that have been forwarded by the radiation safety authorities in Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
It is becoming ever easier to get hold of powerful laser pointers: laser pointers that sometimes are more powerful than one hundred milliwatts. In pace with greater availability of laser pointers, their misuse has increased. They are for example used to harass private individuals, police officers and pilots. Anyone who is hit by a laser beam can suffer from permanent damage to the eye, even blindness. If motorists are blinded, this can cause serious accidents.

This problem is common throughout the EEA (European Economic Area). A few Member States of the European Union have already introduced national legislation. However, this action is insufficient as a Member State cannot stop trade from another Member State. For this reason, the radiation safety authorities in Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden have proposed that the European Commission should introduce EU-wide import restrictions on powerful laser pointers. These authorities also propose a ban on powerful laser pointers for the general public.

Read the letter to the European Commission.