Illegal Laser Pointers Are Everywhere, Including Your Drawer

You have to be suspicious when anything as cool as a laser is readily available to the PowerPoint-loving public. And a new study out of the US shows that more than 75 per cent of lasers violate the Federal laws. That's a lot.

The FBI has been trying to crack down on illegal laser use/pointing for a while now, but the National Institute of Standards took things one step further, examining randomly selected laser pointers labelled as Class IIIa or 3R aka suitable for use in public spaces. These types of lasers have a 5 milliwatt maximum emission in the visible spectrum, and a 2 milliwatt max for the infrared spectrum. The majority of laser pointers failed to comply in at least one category, and one had a power output of 66.5 milliwatts...so that's troubling.

Green lasers are the most likely to exceed legal limits because they output more energy in the infrared spectrum than red or blue lasers. The bottom line, though, is that anyone who tries to forcibly drag you through a 50-slide set is shifty and potentially dangerous. [NIST via Slate]

Image Credit: Andrew Adams/Flickr

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