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Romania: Report of eye injury from Class 4 laser

LaserPointerSafety.com has received a report of an eye injury caused by a green (532nm) Class 4 laser of approximately 1 watt output.

The injured person is from Romania. He was hit in the left eye for 1 second or less from a distance of about 2 feet (~60 cm). He saw a dot in the center of his left eye and could not read properly with that eye. He went to an eye doctor who said there was a small retinal burn. After four days he said the vision improved a bit. He was scheduled for a follow-up exam one month after the injury date.

He asked LaserPointerSafety.com about any possible outcome and treatment. Experts we consulted said his symptoms and vision will probably improve. They suggested a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as ibuprofen or indomethcin. More aggressive treatment such as steroids (orally or injected into the eye) have been done with “often good” results. The side effects of steroids should be considered. They also indicated that the follow-up examination is important.

The laser was marked “<3000mW”, “Wavelength 532nm +/-10” and “Class IIIb Laser Product”. The label is incorrect, since Class IIIb is between 5 and 500 mW. A laser that is in the thousands of milliwatts would be Class 4.

The laser appears to be a “JD-303” from China; a link is here. The cost is US $5-7 per laser in a minimum order of 30 pieces. (They can supply up to 20,000 lasers per week.) It has a nominal power of 1 watt. The Alibaba web site does say “This is not a toy for your children, this is a high intensity laser pointer for adults only!”

Pic 2014-04-02 at 11.26.09 AM
Excerpt from the webpage for the laser believed to have caused the injury

Thanks to Leon McLin and Bruce Stuck for their assistance in this case.

Romania: Lionel Messi targeted with laser at soccer match

Football (US: soccer) superstar Lionel Messi was targeted by a green laser pointer during a match between Argentina and Romania taking place at the National Arena in Bucharest. A Daily Mail newspaper story mentioning the incident did not indicate whether the light entered Messi's eye or otherwise interfered with his play.

Messi laser soccer
Messi is lit up by a laser near his face

From the Daily Mail