High powered lasers to be banned on eBay & Amazon

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Both eBay and Amazon are to ban sales of high powered green laser pens, according the BBC 5 Live, Donal MacIntyre programme.

There have been reports of lasers being used to blind both commercial airline pilots and police helicoptors. Laser under 1mW are considered safe for use and are ideal for use in presentation, but some laser pointers for sale on eBay are up to 240 times as powerful, one listing on eBay even offers a laser supplied with balloons for testing – the laser beam is so powerful it simply shining it at a balloon will burst it.

The Donal MacIntyre programme is due to be aired on Radio 5 Live at 7pm this evening.

8 Responses

  1. Amazon Seller Central has this message on the home page atm:

    Warning – Important information on laser pointers
    3 Oct 2008

    The Health Protection Agency advise that the sale of laser products to the general public for use as laser pointers should be restricted to Class 1 or Class 2 devices and should be sold with sufficient accompanying information to enable the user to operate the product in a safe manner. The maximum power output for Class 2 is 1 milliwatt (mW). Toys should be Class 1 (in accordance with European Standard EN 60825-1:2007) or of such low output that they do not need to be classified. If your item does not comply with this standard do not list the item for sale.

  2. I hope ebay ban them as well. A lunatic used one on the police helicopter in my area, and it was a miracle he didn’t come down on the motorway!

  3. A quick search on Ebay shows 99 high power laser pens for sale., took me 30 seconds to check. 15,000 Staff and they cant organise the immediate pulling of these, ridiculous !

  4. Maybe they were looking for the US spelling “lazer” with a “Z”

    …. oh sorry – forgot – that’s the name of a small Japanese moped …

    … not a Light Amplified by Stimulated Emission of Radiation device ( LASER ) but then eBay aren’t to know that – they keep telling us they’re not experts in the categories they manage.


  5. Ironic considering the first ever sale was a broken laser pointer, but sounds like a necessary move.

  6. #5 Laser pointers are still eligible for sale, but they have to be low powered

    #6 Class 1 lasers are safe, Class 2 lasers (up to 1mW are acceptable). According to the Health Protection Agency anything over 1mW is considered high powered and shouldn’t be available for sale to the general public.

    That’s for laser pointers. Toys which include lasers should be Class 1 or have such low output that they aren’t required to be classified.


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