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REMINDER: Swiss ban on laser pointers


On 1 June 2019, Switzerland introduced a ban on the import, possession and use of laser pointers on Swiss soil, with the exception of class 1 laser pointers, which are authorised for use in giving presentations.

Articles 22 and 23 of the Ordinance to the Swiss Federal Act on Protection against the Risks associated with Non-Ionising Radiation and with Sound (O-NIRSA) place a ban on all laser pointers belonging to classes 1M, 2, 2M, 3R, 3B and 4, as well as on laser pointers that are not classed or are incorrectly labelled.

All CERN contributors who use laser pointers are requested to comply with this legislation. Those who fail to do so risk criminal prosecution under Swiss law.

The term “laser pointer” refers to a small and light hand-held laser device that emits laser radiation for the purpose of pointing out objects and locations. These are most commonly used at CERN for giving presentations.

Swiss law is now more restrictive than French law, which authorises class 1, 1M, 2 and 2M laser pointers (décret n° 2012-1303 du 26 novembre 2012 – in French). The tightening of Swiss law follows various incidents in Switzerland involving the use of these lasers.

Ensuring appropriate disposal of laser pointers:

Laser pointers can be disposed of via the appropriate CERN waste pathways, as electronic waste, once the batteries powering them have been removed.

Should you be in possession of a laser pointer of class 1M or above, you can return it for appropriate handling and disposal by placing it in one of the dedicated blue containers for electronics provided by the SCE Storage, Recuperation and Sales service, or hand it in directly at Building 133. 

Thank you for your cooperation.