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Australian sunglass and safety glass standard

Sunglasses

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Australian sunglass standard

In 1971 Australia was the first country to introduce a national standard for sunglasses (AS 1067.1: 1990 'Sunglasses and fashion spectacles'). Australia is now one of the few countries along with UK, Germany, France and USA to have a standard for sunglasses. AS/NZS 1067 is the only mandatory sunglass standard in the world and the requirements for complying with the Safety Requirements and Performance Requirements sections are quite demanding. All sunglasses sold in Australia must comply with the standard.

In 2003 a revised sunglass standard AS/NZS 1067:2003: 'Sunglasses and Fashion Spectacles' was released. The new standard defines five categories of lenses:

Description of lens
Fashion spectacles that are not sunglasses and provide very low reduction in sunglare
with some UV protection
Fashion spectacles that are not sunglasses and provide a limited reduction in sunglare
with some UV protection
Sunglasses that provide a medium level protection against sunglare
with good UV protection
Sunglasses that provide a high level of protection against sunglare
with good UV protection
Sunglasses for special purposes that provide a very high level of
protection against sunglare with good UV protection

 

All sunglasses sold in Australia must be labelled to indicate they comply with AS/NZS 1067 and which category they comply with to provide consumers with the necessary information to select the correct sunglasses or fashion spectacles depending on their intended use.

For best protection choose wrap around sunglasses to reduce the amount of UVR entering from the sides. Non-wrap around designs allow ultraviolet radiation (UVR) to enter from the sides reducing protection to the eyes even though the lenses themselves may provide 100% UVR protection. ARPANSA developed an eye protection factor (EPF) where sunglasses that comply with AS/NZS 1067 can be assigned an EPF rating from 1 to 10. Sunglasses with EPF values of 9 and 10 transmit almost no UVR.

Sunglasses that provide excellent protection need not be expensive; the price of the sunglasses should not be used to gauge the quality of the lenses in respect to protection from UVR. Low cost sunglasses, which comply with the sunglass standard, may also provide excellent protection against UVR.

Prescription glasses, either clear or tinted, are excluded from the AS/NZS 1067 but may still provide protection against UVR. Optometrists have a professional duty of care to ensure that prescription sunglasses comply with the standard. The standard also covers children's sunglasses. It does not cover toy sunglasses that are clearly identified as such, ski goggles, spectacles for special purposes such as protection in solariums and protection against artificial UVR sources.

For additional information go to ‘Sunglasses and Protection from Solar ultraviolet Radiation’  www.arpansa.gov.au/RadiationProtection/Factsheets/is_Sunglasses.cfm

Australian safety glasses standard

In 1986 Australia and New Zealand published a joint standard for protective eyewear used in industry AS/NZS 1337:1992 'Eye protectors for industrial applications'. In 2010 a revised protective eyewear standard AS/NZS 1337:2010: 'Eye protectors for industrial applications' was released. The current standard for safety glasses states that UVR protective eyewear is required in a variety of occupations both indoors and outdoors where solar UVR may reach potentially hazardous levels. The requirements of protective eyewear for both indoor and outdoor occupational situations are different primarily due to the tinting of the lenses. Outdoor and Indoor protective eyewear can be untinted where no optical radiation hazard exists other than solar UVR and are not intended to provide protection against sunglare. Whilst eyewear for specific use outdoors may require tinting since the wearer will sometimes be working in full sunlight and possibly near highly reflective surfaces requiring adequate protection against sunglare. AS/NZS 1337 does not apply to eyewear for protection against optical radiation generated by industrial processes, which are dealt with in AS/NZS 1338.1:1992 ‘Filters for eye protectors - Filters for protection against radiation generated in welding and allied operations’.

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