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Sunglasses - Not just for looks with new ISO standards

by Maria Lazarte on
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Are you the type that puts on a pair of shades as soon as a sunny ray peaks out, or would you rather squint away in the brightest glare?

Many do not realize the importance of protecting our eyes from the sun in order to prevent cataracts, vision loss, blurriness and skin cancer, not to mention wrinkles. And if you do, how certain are you that the pair of sunglasses you bought is actually keeping you safe?

Our eyelids are thin and fragile, and may be injured easily by UV light, even on cloudy days. Yet, sunglasses that do not have the right protection can cause more damage than help.

ISO has published two new standards to help the sunglasses industry ensure that their products are effective and work as intended.

General use

The first  is ISO 12312-1:2013, Eye and face protection – Sunglasses and related eyewear – Part 1: Sunglasses for general use.

How does it work? ISO 12312-1 provides a series of requirements that manufacturers must comply with, such as checking that their products do not have sharp edges that may injure wearers, or cause vision impairments that prevent users from distinguishing traffic lights, as well as stating the different levels of UV protection.

The second, ISO 12311:2013, Personal protective equipment – Test methods for sunglasses, will help the industry ensure efficiency and reliability when testing products by providing specifications and instructions.

Together, both standards make up a powerful team that will increase confidence in the global trade of sunglasses, and protect our eyes.