Dangers of laser pointers

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The dangers of using laser pointers have been pointed out by West Sussex County Council’s Trading Standards officers.

Trading Standards officers wanted to ensure unsafe laser pointers were not available for supply in West Sussex and carried out a test purchase of a laser pointer, costing £1.50, from a shop in Crawley.

After being sent for testing by a public analyst, it was determined to be of a strength exceeding that of laser pens allowed to be sold to consumers.

With a power of up to five times of that considered safe for eyes, it posed a real threat to the public.

According to the expert, although it was unlikely the laser would cause permanent eye damage it could cause a serious temporary distortion of vision.

Acting on this information, Trading Standards seized the remaining stock of laser pointers from the Crawley-based store.

Christine Field, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Protection, said: “These are potentially very dangerous items.

“If shone into the eyes, it could cause unpleasantness – but if directed into the eyes of drivers or pilots, the disruption to their sight could have serious and potentially fatal consequences.

“We need to ensure we are vigilant in checking the safety of laser pointers for sale in the county, so I would urge anyone who has either purchased the laser pointer shown in the pictures or seen them for sale to contact West Sussex Trading Standards.”

Trading Standards can be contacted via the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 040506 or by completing an online form on the County Council’s website at www.westsussex.gov.uk