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On holiday and at home sunglasses are as much a fashion accessory as eye protection. From sunshine and sandy beaches to snow topped peaks, consumers want to look good and protect  their eyes in all weather conditions.

Fashionable and functional

Sunglasses and other eye protection such as ski and snowboard goggles are considered a necessity by many consumers who are looking for fashionable, functional and safety compliant shades.

Testing standards

Exporting sunglasses and eye protection to global markets means compliance with national and global regulations.  A lens’s ability to filter sunlight allowing sufficient visible light to reach the eye while at the same time filtering out harmful UV light is paramount. Testing against the following standards for sunglasses will demonstrate your compliance and your commitment to consumer safety:

  • EN 1836 (European Union)
  • ANSI Z80.3 (United States)
  • ANS/NZS 1067 (Australia & New Zealand)
  • QB 2457 (China)
  • GB 10810.3 (China)

Sunglasses are classified as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the EU and must satisfy the requirements of Directive 89/686/EEC prior to placing them on the EU market. In addition, separate standards exist for impact resistance, reading glasses, prescription sunglasses and spectacle frames:

  • 21 CFR 801.410 (United States) – eyewear impact resistance
  • EN 14139 (European Union) – reading glasses
  • EN ISO 12870 (European Union) – frames
  • GB/T 14214 (China) – frames

Eye protection products must meet all the relevant regulations for your destination market, be they prescription or non-prescription items. Other regulations such as restricted substances may also apply, for example nickel release for any metal components that come into direct contact with the skin.

Light damage

The sun produces many different kinds of light, some of which can be harmful. The following would be most likely to injure eyes, the shorter wavelength the more harmful:

  • Ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which is invisible. On earth there are: UVA with wavelength from 315 nm to 380 nm and UVB from 280 nm to 315 nm.
  • Bright or intense visible light, spectral ranges from 380 nm to 780 nm, including blue-light ranges from 380 nm to 500 nm.

Sunglasses are designed to protect eyes from exposure to these types of light. Measuring and understanding the UV/ Luminous transmittance of sunglasses’ filter is a crucial requirement:

  • Lightly tinted lenses block from 0 to 60% of visible light and UVA, and  between 87.5% and 95% of UVB.
  • Medium tinted or dark lenses block from 60% to 92% of visible light and UVA, and between 95% and 99% of UVB. These sunglasses are good for driving.
  • Very dark tinted sunglasses block up to 97% of visible light and up to 98.5% of UVA, and also block at least 99% of UVB. They are suitable for prolonged sun exposure but are not recommended for driving.

Note: The above information is based on ANSI Z80.3.

A partner to trust

SGS provides the most comprehensive one-stop-shop quality assurance and testing services to ensure that your products meet industry eye protection standards around the globe. Our extensive expertise in consumer goods testing and worldwide network of testing facilities deliver consistent and accurate testing services.

From raw materials to the finished product we can test and inspect every aspect of your sunglass production process giving you peace of mind and reducing risk to your company, your brand and your consumers.

For more information, please contact:

Birkoff Chen
Hardgoods Technical Expert
SGS Hong Kong
t +852 2765 3561 ext. 1561

About SGS

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 70,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,350 offices and laboratories around the world.