What do I need to know about sunglasses?The most important things to look for when choosing a pair of sunglasses is the amount of UV light that is blocked by the sunglasses and a proper fit. Lenses should be large enough to shield your eyes from most angles. It is important to note that darker lenses in sunglasses do not necessarily offer better UV protection. Sunglasses have many features, not all of which are related to the amount of sun protection they provide:
- Blocks 99% of UV light:
This is a very important thing to look for when purchasing sunglasses. This claim tells you that the sunglasses block 99 percent of harmful UV rays. The tag may also say "UV absorption up to 400 nm".
This is another important thing to look for when purchasing sunglasses. These types of sunglasses wrap around the face and protect eyes from all angles.
- Polycarbonate lenses:
This type of lens is the most impact-resistant lens on the market today. (This type of lens does not necessarily offer better UV protection than other types of lenses.)
- Blocks 90 percent of infrared rays:
The amount of infrared rays sunglasses block does not effect the UV protectiveness of sunglasses. (Infrared rays are not harmful to eyes.)
This type of lens does not help protect your eyes from damaging UV rays. However, this type of lens can improve eyesight by reducing distracting surface glare, most notably from water and snow.
The new ASTM standards D6544 and D6603 combine with AATCC 183 to form the most stringent UV-protective clothing standard in the world. "This is the credibility boost the U.S. sun protective clothing industry has been waiting for," said Mary Buller, ASPA Executive Director. "Finally, consumers will know what UPF is and will come to trust that the garment they buy will provide the same level of UV protection during its use-Iife as it did on the day it was purchased."
|UPF Values Allowed |
|Approximate % UV |
|Good UV Protection||15-24||15 and 20||93.3% - 95.8%|
|Very Good UV Protection||25-39||25, 30 and 35||96.0% - 97.4%|
|Excellent UV Protection||40-50+||40, 45, 50 and 50+||97.5% - 98.0%|
D6544 requires fabrics making a claim of sun protectiveness to (a) undergo 40 simulated launderings, (b) be exposed to 100 fading units of simulated sunlight, and if intended for swimsuits, and (c) be exposed to chlorinated water prior to UV- transmission testing. The standards are currently voluntary, but could become mandatory if not adopted by the industry in a timely manner. Sun protection claims will be monitored by the FTC.