Third Party Laser Pointer Safety Testing is Essential for Consumer Safety
UL assists laser pointer retailers and manufacturers in testing compliance to U.S. FDA CDRH requirements
NORTHBROOK, Ill., Oct. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — UL (Underwriters Laboratories), a world leader in advancing safety science, announces the launch of its new laser safety testing offering for laser pointer retailers and manufacturers.
The increasingly widespread applications of laser pointers and the growing number of incidents in connection with these devices being misused have aroused concerns about laser pointer safety. Recent testing performed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which revealed that many laser pointers were not in compliance with U.S. federal safety regulations, points to the need for third party confirmation of a laser pointer manufacturer’s self-certification to the FDA requirements(1).
“Laser powers over 5mW can be hazardous, causing potential issues such as temporary visual problems or eye injuries. Therefore, the Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandates a laser power limit of 5mW for visible hand-held laser pointers (equivalent to CDRH Class IIIa or IEC Class 3R). Laser pointers over 5mW cannot be legally sold or marketed in, or imported into the United States,” said Winn Henderson, subject matter expert for Optical Radiation, UL.
Currently, to meet U.S. federal safety regulations, laser product manufacturers are only required to submit a self-certified CDRH report and obtain an acknowledgment letter from the CDRH for marketing, selling, or importing the product into the United States.
“Despite not requiring third party checks by law, some retailers are requesting that laser pointer manufacturers provide a third party laser safety report in order to sell their laser pointers and to better protect the safety of consumers. Therefore many manufacturers are approaching UL for laser testing, classification, and CDRH report services in pursuit of meeting these retailer requirements,” said Henderson.
UL’s laboratories in the United States, Japan and Korea can test all types of laser products to both CDRH and IEC laser safety requirements, resulting in a complete CDRH Report ready to file with the FDA or an IEC 60825-1 CB Test Report with CB Certificate. In addition, UL can create a specialized Laser Pointer Safety Evaluation short-form report to document the results of the laser pointer third party check. For more information, visit www.ul.com/lasers.
(1 )NIST Document – NIST Tests Underscore Potential Hazards of Green Laser Pointers – March 20, 2013 (www.NIST.gov)
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SOURCE UL International Limited