Scouts-L Mail Archive for April of 1999: Laser Tag - Ready, Shoot, Aim
Laser Tag - Ready, Shoot, Aim
Fri, 23 Apr 1999 09:53:35 -0400
> **********NMC Was that before or after the Cop had her eyes
> burned from the Laser Beam?
I don't really care to get in the middle of the Great Laser Pointer
debate but I'm affronted by the implication that I would knowingly
expose a group of kids to an unsafe activity so here goes:
The following applies to the U.S. so international SCOUTS-L readers will
have to bear with me.
Laser devices are regulated by the Center for Devices and Radiological
Health (CDRH) which is a division of the FDA. There is a standard by
which ALL lasers sold in the U.S. are classified including level of
hazard and safe exposure. The major classes of lasers are 1, 2, 2A, 3A,
3B and 4.
Class 3B and 4 are typically used in industrial or medical equipment
Laser pointers, the ones causing all the ruckkus, are typically Class 3A
lasers putting out around 5mW of power. These devices will not normally
cause permanent damage but may cause temporary vision impairment.
Problems: - they are made to be used as a pointer where they need to
overcome relatively high levels of ambient light to be seen and, with
the proliferation of cheaply made, off-shore devices, the rated power of
these things may exceed the level for which they are classified.
Laser Tag "guns" typically use a Class 2 laser of 1mW or less of power.
Additionally, laser "guns" are "pulsed" beams of light, not a continuous
wave. They are made to be used in a dark room (like a laser tag arena)
so high levels of power are not required. If there is any doubt about
the type of laser used, look at the device. A warning label showing the
classification of the Laser is required, by the FDA, to be displayed.
I am much more comfortable with a Scout group playing Laser tag at a
supervised play arena than I am with a bunch of scouts stumbling around
in the woods playing "flashlight tag."
If you are concerned, visit a laser tag play arena. Talk to the
management. Express your concerns. I you don't do that much, you really
have no basis for passing judgement.
As far as the "war game", killing connotations, symbolism, violence,
etc, none of the Post members who has gone on a Laser Tag outing has
"gone Postal" or barricaded themselves on top of a tower with a 30-06,
so far, although one has since joined the Army;-)
But, this is my opinion. I could be wrong. I did my research, now you go
and do your own research. This is the Internet, take what you read here
with a grain of salt. Visit your local library. Validate information.
Verify facts. Or, choose to pepetuate urban legends.
Advisor (ex)Post 486