January 20, 2016

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Suspicious Laser Product Protocol (SLaPP)

Background

Since the mid to late 1980’s, laser products- specifically Laser Diodes and related products- have seen an exponential increase in development and production.

It is now common to find Class IIIa/3R key-ring laser pointers emitting 4 mW sold in gas stations and flea markets for less than $5. Class IV/4 50W diode marker systems are routinely sold on Amazon and eBay all with a common issue:

Too many products being imported are neither compliant to the federal performance regulation (21CFR1040.10/.11) nor the international standard (IEC EN60825) defining safe laser products, and people in the consumer space and workplace are getting injured.

Since the CDRH does not have the resources to go after the tidal wave of these products, we need to stop them before we bring them into our homes and places of work. As a consumer, not part of the industry, one might assume a product is safe by seeing “official” looking labels and signage. As professionals in the field we know better and have to ensure we limit the risk before allowing it into our safety ecosystem.

SLaPP

The Suspicious Laser Product Protocol, or “SLaPP” is a three-page document currently hosted on a public access area of Johns Hopkins University and here at The Photonics Group. The document has been developed with guidance from relevant federal, state, and local agencies to take someone step-by-step through the complexities of determining the compliance and safety status of laser-based products. It is straightforward and both logical and easy to use.

Limiting risk by capturing and isolating a potentially dangerous product is at the heart of SIH/EHS responsibilities.



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