Laser pointers for sale in WA must now be laboratory tested [Audio]

13/10/1999 12:40 PM

Traders selling laser pointers in Western Australia must now have them laboratory tested and keep the test report to prove the pointers are in the lower-power categories.

Fair Trading Minister Doug Shave said the test requirement was an additional protection for the community and follows a ban announced last month on the sale of Class 3 and above pointers.

Traders who breach the order could face fines of up to $5,000.

“All laser pointers should carry a label giving their power. However, the requirement for laboratory testing will help prevent eye injuries being caused by incorrectly labelled pointers,” Mr Shave said.

“It is a serious concern that laser pointers have recently been marketed as novelty products and even toys. They are meant to be an educational tool and must always be used responsibly.”

Categories specifying the strength of laser pointers, from Class 1 (weakest) upwards are part of an Australian Standard. Classes 1 and 2 are not considered dangerous but should also be used with care.

“The laboratory test reports must be produced by retailers selling laser pointers at the request of Fair Trading inspectors,” Mr Shave said.

The WA Health Department’s Radiation Health Section can provide the necessary test reports to retailers, quickly and with little inconvenience. It can be contacted on 9346 2260.

Retailers and wholesalers can also obtain more information by ringing the Ministry of Fair Trading on 9244 1299.

Media contact: John Clune 9213 6500

"Laser pointers have been sold as novelty products and even toys. They must only be used for what they're designed, and never be pointed at people's eyes." (7secs/152KB)

"The tests reduce the risk of people having their sight damaged by powerful laser pointers which might be incorrectly labelled." (9secs/200KB)