UV-protective eyewear includes a growing line of personal protective equipment (PPE) designed to block harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from damaging your eyes.
Both UVA and UVB present short and long-term eye health hazards. And since you can’t exactly lather sunscreen on your eyes before working, PPE glasses offer the only way to minimize UVA and UVB exposure to preserve those peepers.
There are two main types of protective eyewear:
Standard PPE safety glasses: Standard UV glasses provide all-purpose protection against both direct eye hazards (e.g., debris) and indirect hazards (e.g., UV rays). Standard safety glasses tend to have clear polycarbonate lenses buffering 90-100% of UV radiation. Select these work glasses for durable, versatile eye protection across professional and personal projects.
PPE safety sunglasses: PPE safety sunglasses go one step further, holding tinted polycarbonate lenses capable of blocking 99-100% of UV rays. Opt for PPE safety-grade glasses when working in construction, metalworking, or similarly high UV-exposure tradeswork, or if you frequently engage in outdoor activities like running, cycling, boating, and recreational shooting.
In addition, you can opt for standard PPE overglasses or tinted PPE overglasses. These designs come in goggle form for superior periphery protection. Bonus points: They also slip comfortably over most prescription glasses.
Why Is UV Protection So Important for Safety Glasses?
There are numerous benefits of wearing glare-eliminating, UV-blocking work glasses:
Minimize short-term UV health risks, such as headaches and enflamed, sore, or red eyes prone to tearing up.
Minimize long-term UV health risks, from cataracts and abnormal eye growths to retina damage triggering permanently blurred vision.
Work safely indoors and out, because working inside a factory or walled workshop won’t protect you from UV light. These spaces may contain UV-emitting lamps plus other UV risks like welding machines and lasers.
How Do I Know If My PPE Glasswear Has UV Protection?
Prioritize these features when shopping for your next pair of UV-blocking eyewear:
- Polycarbonate curved lenses (or other high-index plastics absorbing UV rays).
- A minimum 380 nano-meters for clear lenses, the highest industry standard for standard glasswear categories.
- A minimum of 400 nano-meters for tinted glasses, the highest industry standard for PPE safety categories.
- Wraparound design for periphery light defense.
- Adjustable side and nose pieces for a perfect, no-slip fit.
Questions? Give us a shout to learn how to select the right UV-blocking glasses for your line of work or DIY needs. We’d love to help.