- Classes of lasers
Lasers are divided into a number of classes depending on the power or energy of the beam. Laser classification is also based on the laser's potential for causing immediate injury or potential for causing fires from direct exposure to the beam.
Class 1 lasers are considered to be incapable of producing damaging radiation levels. Example: laser printers.
Class 2 lasers emit radiation in the visible portion of the spectrum, and protection is typically through blinking. They may be hazardous if viewed directly for long periods of time. Example: laser pointers.
Class 3a lasers are those that normally would not produce injury if viewed only momentarily with the unaided eye. They may present a hazard if viewed using telescopes or microscopes.
Class 3b lasers can cause severe eye injuries if beams are viewed directly. A Class 3 laser is not normally a fire hazard.
Class 4 lasers: Class 4 lasers are a serious hazard to the eye. Class 4 lasers can also start fires and can damage skin.
— Source: www.stanford.edu
Posted: Thursday, May 3, 2012 12:00 am
Laser pointers are everywhere today. They are used in light shows, they are used in teachers' classrooms.
But beware: Those same laser pointers can land you behind bars if you point them up into the sky.
Thursday, May 3, 2012 12:00 am.