ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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The Eyes Have It: September is Sports and Home Eye Safety Month


New York, Sep 04, 2008

According to Prevent Blindness America, September is Sports and Home Eye Safety Month. From eye protection to prescription glasses and fashion eyewear, standards help people across the country protect one of their most treasured senses: sight.

Swimming, playing ball, and wrestling are among the many sports that present a risk of injury to the eyes. ASTM International, an organizational member and audited designator of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), has developed many standards that protect the eyes during sports activities. Among them are:

  • ASTM F1776-01, Standard Specification for Eye Protective Devices for Paintball Sports

  • ASTM F659-06, Standard Specification for Skier Goggles and Faceshields

  • ASTM F803-03, Standard Specification for Eye Protectors For Selected Sports

  • ASTM F910-04, Standard Specification for Face Guards for Youth Baseball

  • BSR/ASTM F2713-200x, Specification for Eye Protectors for Field Hockey (under development)

These standards provide guidelines for protective eye gear that minimizes or significantly reduces injury to the eye.

Eye injuries don’t just occur from an accident like getting hit by a ball – they can also come from everyday occurrences. Extended time in the sun can expose the eyes to excess UV radiation, which has been shown to lead to cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Sunglasses are an inexpensive and stylish solution, and American National Standards exist to ensure that they offer the necessary protection to keep eyes safe.

ANSI Z80.3-2001, Ophthalmics - Nonprescription Sunglasses and Fashion Eyewear - Requirements is a standard for non-prescription sunglasses developed by the Optical Laboratories Association (OLA), an ANSI member and accredited standards developer. This standard outlines several types of safety requirements, including protection from ultraviolet (UV) radiation, tolerances for refractive power, flammability resistance, and color discrimination (the ability to see traffic signals and traffic control devices while wearing the sunglasses). More information about the development and importance of ANSI Z80.3 can be found in the ANSI Online Media Tip on Sunglasses.

Eye safety is an everyday issue for those people with impaired vision. Millions of Americans rely on contact lenses as an attractive, convenient, and comfortable alternative to glasses; however, consumers must be careful to follow the guidelines for cleaning and changing lenses in order to protect their eyes from damage. An American National Standard for contact lenses, also developed by OLA, ensures the safety of contact lens wearers. ANSI Z80.20-2004, Ophthalmics - Contact Lenses - Standard Terminology, Tolerances, Measurements and Physicochemical Properties includes guidelines for both hard and soft contact lenses.

To learn more about protecting your vision during Sports and Home Eye Safety Month, visit Prevent Blindness America. This ANSI organizational member provides information and tips on eye safety in the home, the workplace, and during sports on their safety website, www.preventblindness.org/safety.

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