Consumer Product Safety

Accident Information Special News 24

November 2, 1998

Calling Attention Related to Accident by Wrong Use of "Laser Pointer"

The laser pointer is generally used in indicating, for example, a figure positioned in the distance in a meeting, however, if the laser beam is irradiated at a person, it is awfully dangerous. Receiving the results of the test performed for settling accident information by the National Institute of Technology and Evaluation, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry determined to release the information to the consumers and calls their attentions so as to prevent the similar accident from reoccurrence.

1. Outlines of Accident

A sufferer (junior high school student) irradiated with the laser pointer in the eyes by a friend complained of sharp pain and treated in hospital in the next day.

Back to top

2. Outlines of Investigation Results

To assess the risk in being used, the laser products are classified from class 1 to class 4 according to the radiation power by JIS. (The class 3 is further classified into two, A and B.) It is regarded that the direct observation in the beam of the class 3 or more is dangerous.
According to the test results such as the measurements of the radiation powers of the identical products (1 brand) and similar products (3 brands) of the accidental product, all of them are equivalent to the "Class 3B" of the JIS classification. The output is regarded to be dangerous, when the entire irradiated laser beams directly strike the eyes.
Therefore, the origin of this accident was the wrong use of the user.
However, all of the investigated articles had no descriptions attached on their bodies for calling the attention of the user, some of the instruction manuals describe the risk, but there were English description among them.

Back to top

3. Matters Required Attention

When the risk of the products just like this case is not generally well known and the description of the attention is insufficient, the possibility of the accident caused by the wrong use of the user is high. Therefore, it is required to widely call the attention of the consumer.
In this fiscal year, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry plans to perform a trial purchase test for examining the practical states of the appropriate products on market distribution.

Contact us

 Risk Analysis and Public Relations Division  Product Safety Technology Center  National Institute of Technology and Evaluation
Phone number:+81-6-6612-2066
Fax number:+81-6-6612-1617
Address:1-22-16, Nankokita, Suminoe-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka 559-0034 Japan MAP