Teachers, scientists and cat lovers beware. 90% of Green lazer pointers and 44% of red lazer pointers don't comply with safety regulations.

Tests Underscore Potential Hazards of Green Laser Pointers

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) researchers tested 122 laser pointers and found that nearly 90 percent of green pointers and about 44 percent of red pointers tested were out of compliance with federal safety regulations.

... both red and green laser pointers often emitted more visible power than allowed under the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), and green pointers often emitted unacceptable levels of infrared light as well.

The NIST tests were conducted on randomly selected commercial laser devices labeled as Class IIIa or 3R and sold as suitable for demonstration use in classrooms and other public spaces. Such lasers are limited under the CFR to 5 milliwatts maximum emission in the visible portion of the spectrum and less than 2 milliwatts in the infrared portion of the spectrum. About half the devices tested emitted power levels at least twice the CFR limit at one or more wavelengths. The highest measured power output was 66.5 milliwatts, more than 10 times the legal limit. The power measurements were accurate to within 5 percent. [emphasis mine]

NIST laser safety officer Joshua Hadler and his apparatus for measuring the properties of handheld laser devices.

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