Sunglasses Safety FactSheetHS05-045B (10-08)
Sunglasses aren’t just fashion accessories. They are
a necessary protection for the eyes. Most consumers
know about the danger of sun exposure to the skin,
but many are unaware that the sun’s rays can damage
the eyes. To correctly shield the eyes, the right type of
sunglasses must be worn, especially since wearing the
wrong type can cause more damage than not wearing
so can cause permanent damage to the eyes.
• Wear sunglasses and a hat if taking medications
The eyes are susceptible to being burned by sun-
that increase the sensitivity of the eyes to light,
rays. The cornea, lens, and retina are all vulnerable
such as tetracycline (Achromycin V, Sumycin) or
to overexposure of ultraviolet (UV) rays. Over time
these UV rays—invisible to the human eye—can harm
• Know that if you have an eye disease such as
the eye if left unprotected. Workers who are heavily
macular degeneration, you’re at increased risk of
exposed to sunlight should protect their eyes with UV-
Sunglasses help in two important ways. They filter
light and protect the eyes from damaging UV rays.
Different lens tints filter different wavelengths of
Long-term exposure to UV rays can lead to cataracts,
light. Some may enhance or distort colors and affect
macular degeneration, or skin cancer around the eye-
contrast. Select tint based on need.
lids. Sunglasses should be worn outdoors to protect
• Green—Allows true color perception and good
contrast in bright light; reduces eyestrain in bright
• Gray—Allows true color perception, but does not
enhance contrast; good for cycling or running.
• Brown—Good in hazy sun, enhances contrast;
It is important to look for the clear substance in
sunglasses which blocks harmful ultraviolet light.
• Amber—Brightens cloudy, hazy, or foggy skies;
Tinted glasses without UV protection cause more
excellent for contrast; minimizes eyestrain; dis-
harm than wearing no glasses. Individuals can protect
torts color (images look yellow-orange).
their eyes by simply wearing sunglasses that block out
• Yellow—Improves contrast and depth perception
99 to 100 percent of UV. Such glasses protect the eye
in low light; good for overcast days.
from both UV-A—and the more harmful—UV-B rays.
• Red—Excellent depth perception in low light;
Studies show that exposure to ultraviolet light can
contrast objects against blue or green back-
contribute to a number of ocular complications, in-
cluding: photokeratitis or “snow blindness”; cataracts;
• Mirrored—Reflects high-intensity light to reduce
pterygium (an abnormal growth on the eye’s surface);
macular degeneration; and even cancer. Tinted contact
lens do not protect against harmful rays.
Q: Am I at risk for eye problems caused by UV
Some tips for protecting the eyes in the sun.
• Wear a wide-brimmed hat or cap. This keeps out
A: Everyone is at risk for eye problems caused by
sunlight from directly overhead, which can slip
the sun. Even children are at risk for damaging
their eyes. The risk of sun related eye problems is
industrial applications can actually be more dangerous
than wearing no glasses at all. This is because the eye
attempts to compensate for less light by opening the
• are on certain medicines, such as tetracycline,
pupil wider. In turn, this allows more of the damaging
sulfa drugs, birth control pills, diuretics, and
radiation in. For adequate protection from the visible
tranquilizers that increase the eye’s sensitivity to light produced by wielding, the lens must be a specific
shade. Sunglasses are not welding/cutting goggles.
Q: What type of sunglasses should I get?
Q: What should you look for when selecting safety
A: When buying sunglasses, look for a label that
tells how much UV radiation the lenses of the
sunglasses reflect. Experts say that sunglasses
The following are tips for purchasing safety sun-
should block 99-100 percent of both UV-A and
UV-B rays. They need to cover the entire eye
• glasses should be lightweight and adjustable;
Q: What type of glasses should I wear while work-
• label should indicate 99 or 100 percent UV pro-
A: While conventional sunglasses may protect the
• look for sunglasses that are close fitting to pre-
eyes from glare, they do a poor job of protect-
ing eyes from the industrial hazards of chemical
• look for larger lenses or wrap-around sunglasses
splashes, flying objects, and dust. In fact, conven-
to prevent light or other harmful substances from
tional sunglasses can present their own hazards
in the workplace. It is a fact that the frame and
• don’t be misguided by price—higher priced
lenses used in safety sunglasses are stronger than
safety sunglasses usually reflect fashion, not UV
the frame and lenses used in conventional sun-
glasses. When an object strikes the lens of the
• know that dark-colored sunglasses don’t nec-
safety sunglasses it is very unlikely that the lens
essarily provide better protection, because the
would dislodge. This is not true of conventional
chemical coating applied to the lens responsible
eyewear, especially those types with wire frames.
When an object strikes the lens of conventional
Remember, your sunglasses will not make you
sunglasses, the lens shatters, showering the
look better, see more comfortably or protect your eyes
wearer’s eye with shards of glass or plastic. With when they are in your purse, pocket or on the dash-
a pair of approved safety sunglasses, the lens may board of your car. Protect your eyes whenever you go
break, but it will not shatter back into the eye.
Safety sunglasses can also have shields to reduce
Remember to practice safety. Don’t learn it by ac-
the risk of foreign objects reaching the eye from the
sides, top, or bottom. Regular sunglasses do not. Be-
This fact sheet was published with information
cause sunglasses have a darkened lens, some people
from the Mayo Clinic, Prevent Blindness America,
mistakenly believe these glasses will provide the
and the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of
needed protection when welding, brazing, or cutting.
Workers’ Compensation (TDI-DWC), and is consid-
A darkened lens will not protect eyes from the infra-
ered factual at the time of development.
red (IF) and ultra-violent (UV) radiation. Wearing
glasses with darkened lenses that are not made for
Division of Workers’ Compensation (TDI-DWC)
or call 1-800-687-7080 for more information.
Metall, verchromt, Tischauflage Holz/hellbraun ca. 3 Stk., Metallgestell/verchromt, Stoffbezug/blau Holz/hellbraun, 14-türig, Größe ca. 5000 x 2200 x 400 mm Stoff/blau, mit Armlehnen Holz/hellbraun, trapezförmig, mit 3 integrierten Unterschränken, jew. 3 Züge sowie intergriertem Holz/hellbraun, Kunststoffauflage marmoriert, 6-türig Holz/hellbraun, Größe ca. 4000 x 2200 x 350 mm Holz
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