Eyewear has many different functions but, whether they are fashion or prescription spectacles, sunglasses, specialist sportswear glasses, or personal protective equipment (PPE), they must all conform to the basic requirement that they are safe and will protect the wearer’s eye. To help ensure this, different markets maintain their own regulations, each designed to ensure the wearer is safe.
In addition to these basic requirements, eyewear should also be comfortable and resistant to damage. In some cases, it may also have specific requirements relating to its use. For example, prescription spectacles must safely correct impaired vision and sunglasses must adequately protect against harmful UV rays.
Finally, suppliers of eyewear must ensure their products fulfil the claims that are made for them. Ensuring eyewear is safe, fulfils its purpose and complies with relevant regulations can be a complex task and it is important stakeholders understand the ways this can be done and the standards that must be adhered to.
Let’s look at some of the standards that exist around the world. Many authorities maintain standards relating to UV light protection. These include:
- Australia & New Zealand – Consumer Good (Sunglasses and Fashion Spectacles) Safety Standard 2017, based on AS/NZS 1067.1
- China - QB 2457 and GB 10810.3
- European Union - EN ISO 12312-1
- Japan - Japanese Household Goods Quality Labelling Law
- South Korea - KC Mark
- USA - ANSI Z80.3; impact resistance - 21 CFR 801.410 which is covered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations on medical devices
Frames are also a major cause for concern, with China and the US having legislation covering eyewear frames:
- China – GB/T 14214
- USA – ophthalmic frames – ANSI Z80.5
The European Union (EU) maintains a comprehensive set of standards relating to eyewear. These often depend upon the function of the glasses and include:
- EN 14139 for reading glasses
- EN ISO 12870 for frames
- Medical Devices Directive for reading glasses and frames
- PPE Directive/regulation for safety/protective eyewear
- CE Marking is compulsory on all products
Stakeholders should be aware of the requirements that go with the market they are entering and ensure their products comply with those demands. These may include
regulatory requirements, national legislation and safety requirements. In addition, eyewear must also be strong, well-built and conform to the claims that are being made for it.
SGS Eyewear Services
With a global network of ISO 17025 accredited laboratories, SGS can undertake all forms of testing to ensure eyewear fulfils its claims and requirements. Testing can assess:
- Impact resistance
- High-velocity impact resistance
- Lens abrasion
- Material and surface quality
- Resistance to ignition
- Cleaning suitability
SGS technicians can also assess optical properties and check specific claims relating to polarizing and photochromatic properties. They can test against several criteria, including optical power, refractive properties, UV 400 verification, transmittance (UV and luminous including blue light), scattered light, and resistance to fogging and solar radiation.
SGS offers a one-stop solution for companies manufacturing and supplying eyewear, and this includes testing against the destination market’s regulations on chemicals and heavy metals. For example, restrictions on SVHC (Substances of Very High Concern), cadmium content, lead content, nickel release, and organotins, and the restrictions under REACH (EU) and CPSIA (USA).
In addition to testing service, SGS can also undertake factory audits, initial product, in-process, pre-shipment and final shipment inspections to verify safety and quality of products during production.
To learn more about SGS’s services, visit the.
For more information, please contact:
SGS Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2765 3546 Ext. 1546
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 95,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,400 offices and laboratories around the world.