The greater a laser pointer's output power, the more likely it will cause serious eye injuries, burn skin and temporarily impair the vision of pilots or drivers. That much is clear.
But judging the safety of that laser pointer in your desk drawer or in your kid's hand isn't simple.
"The consumer is in a difficult position," said Daniel Hewett, health promotion officer at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, the agency tasked with enforcing the rule for products that emit radiation.
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© 2013 American Academy of Ophthalmology