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What Does ANSI Z87.1-2010 Certified Safety Glasses Mean?

Woman Wearing ANSI Z87 Safety Glasses

The new ANSI Z87.1-2010 certification helps identify types of eye protection with clear markings

As you stroll through the “aisles” of our safety glasses online store, you’ll see the words “ANSI Z87.1-2010 certified” quite a bit on our safety glasses and safety goggles. For many people, their jobs require them to choose only ANSI Z87.1-2010 certified safety glasses – or “Z87 safety glasses” as they’re commonly called. But what do these letters and numbers really mean to us? We know the certification is important, but how does it help protect our eyes?

Extensive Testing –Safety glasses have a critical job to do. When we find ourselves in a situation that compromises our eye safety, we depend on our glasses to protect our peepers – there’s no room for error or malfunction. ANSI Z87.1-2010 certified safety glasses aren’t just produced and shipped out to us – they first undergo intensive testing that ensures they’ll stand up when your eyes need it most. Tests include the ability for Z87 safety glasses to protect us from non-ionizing radiation, impact to the eyes, and exposure to chemicals, whether it be at work, school or home.

The Standard – Safety is serious business, and it’s important that certifications are regulated and enforced. Yet, we all know that understanding safety certifications can sometimes get confusing, and one of the key ways to encourage employees to heed regulations is to make them simple to understand. ANSI Z87.1-2010 did away with a more complex certification system, and brought with it a singular standard in understanding the eye protection you need. Employers now need to choose Z87 safety glasses that best represent the hazards found in the workplace, such as:

  • Blunt impact
  • Radiation
  • Splashes and droplets
  • Dust
  • Small dust particles

Clear Markings – You need to quickly and easily identify what type of Z87 safety glasses your employees are wearing. ANSI Z87.1-2010 introduced new markings that are more efficient and easier than ever to understand:

  • Splash and droplet: D3-splash and droplet / D4-dust
  • Fine dust: D5-fine dust
  • Welding: W (plus the shade number)
  • UV: U (plus the scale number)
  • Infrared light: R (plus the scale number)
  • Visible light filter: L (plus the scale number)

All of us here at SafetyGlassesUSA.com support more uniform safety regulations – safety should be simple to understand, and we applaud the American National Standards Institute and the International Safety Equipment Association for taking this step. Understanding what ANSI Z87.1-2010 certification really means for our eye protection makes us respect our Z87 safety glasses that much more!

Please Note:
The new safety standard ANSI Z87.1-2010 allows time for manufacturers to phase in the new markings, so it’s still possible to purchase certified safety glasses that do not have the new markings displayed. If you have any questions about a particular safety glass or goggle style you should contact the retailer or manufacturer for clarification.

Product Review: Bullhead Kingfish Safety Glasses with Polarized/Photochromic Lenses

Bullhead Kingfish Safety Glasses with Polarized/Photochromic LensesAny active person wanting great all-around safety sunglasses need look no further than the Bullhead Kingfish Safety Glasses. These glasses work well for individuals involved in a variety of activities – such as multiple sports – and especially for those switching within multiple activities, each with unique lighting conditions and challenges, throughout the day.

Understand the Features

Before detailing specific experiences wearing the Bullhead Kingfish Safety Glasses, let’s discuss the features these glasses offer:

  • A transmission rate (amount of sunlight that will go through the lenses into the eyes) well suited for sports. With a 12% when fully darkened state and 32% when in their natural state, the Bullhead Kingfish allows enough light for seeing what you need to see in shade while also providing extra coverage in bright sunlight.
  • A super lightweight sports frame adds to the comfortableness of these glasses.
  • Wrap-around, 8-base curve lenses provide maximum protection plus 100% visual acuity (sharp vision).
  • Soft TPR adjustable nose piece won’t produce painful, red impressions on your nose after hours of constant wear.
  • Good Fit for a variety of face shapes, so most women and men will find the Bullhead Kingfish to be a comfortable fit.
  • Protection from the sun by filtering out 99% of dangerous UV light. When you understand How the Sun Affects Our Eyes, you realize how essential this feature is for your eyewear.
  • Polarized lenses that reduce glare, resulting in less eye fatigue.
  • Photochromic lenses that react to sunlight and adjust for optimum visibility in any lighting situation.
  • Safety protection by meeting ANSI Z87.1 high impact requirements, which tells wearers that eyes have increased protection from radiation, blunt impact, chemical splash and dust.


Experience the Features

Clearly, the Bullhead Kingfish Safety Glasses with Polarized/Photochromic Smoke Lens offer a solid list of features. But how do those features play out in real-life?

Consider the following notes taken during a 3-week product-review period.

  • These glasses will work well for individuals involved in a variety of activities and especially for those switching among several activities in any given day because the photochromic lenses transition seamlessly by adapting quickly to changing lighting situations.
  • While these glasses work well in bright sun, just like glasses with a permanent and darker tint, the benefits of the photochromic lens really showed through when in shaded areas and low-light (overcast) situations by constantly providing sharp vision.
  • During a 4-hour kayak trip down a river littered with fallen trees, the glasses provided constant clear vision even while in the sun one second and significant shade the next. In addition, eye fatigue never presented itself; in fact, the glasses were forgotten as they provided the necessary vision for every situation presented.
  • Whether running, walking or biking, these glasses adjusted very well to multi-light situations regardless of the time of day, unlike other sunglasses that needed removed in shaded areas, a definite hassle while exercising.
  • These glasses don’t slip and move on the face either. Anyone who exercises regularly knows how annoying it is to have glasses that constantly need adjusted because they don’t stay put.
  • While biking, regardless of the lighting situation, the gauge for mileage and time could be read without problem.
  • Unexpectedly, the Bullfish glasses provided excellent vision when sitting on the deck in the shade and reading. The sun glares off the deck, often causing headaches even when sitting in the shade, but these glasses not only adjusted to the shade but also prevented eye fatigue from the glare.
  • A cell phone screen also remains clearly visible while wearing the Bullhead glasses.
  • Having the ANSI protection for a low cost ($59) provides a terrific added benefit, especially for those who don’t want to buy different glasses for each activity.
  • For those who put their sunglasses on their heads when not wanting to wear them, such as when in the grocery store, knowing that the nose pieces won’t get caught in your hair is another added bonus.

3 Reasons to Wear Bullhead Kingfish Glasses

To summarize the benefits of these glasses in a practical sense, here are the three main reasons to purchase the Bullhead Kingfish Safety Glasses with Polarized/Photochromic Smoke Lens:

  1. Great all-around lens.
  2. Comfortable, lightweight fit.
  3. Solid eye protection.

Included among the top reasons people fail to wear proper eye protection are improper (uncomfortable or bothersome) fit and inability to see well in changing light situations. The Bullhead Kingfish Safety Glasses can eliminate these problems for most people, making eyes both healthier and safer.

So if you’re an active person who wants great vision that also results in healthier and safer eyes for a lifetime, the Bullhead Kingfish Glasses are a smart purchase.

When NOT to Wear Tinted Safety Glasses

tinted-safety-glassesWhile many good reasons exist for wearing tinted safety glasses at work — when working for long periods in bright sunshine and during high-intensity light tasks such as welding, for example — there are some situations where NOT wearing tinted lenses is safer.

Night Driving. Unfortunately, no perfectly safe option exists for those wanting to reduce the glare of oncoming headlights when driving at night. In “Shedding Some Light on Night Driving Challenges and Solutions, Part 2,” Michael Eldridge from Safety Glasses USA says,

The bottom line remains that having perfect vision for driving at dawn, dusk or nighttime simply isn’t possible. The first approach should be to remove any obstacles to clear vision… Should you choose to experiment with night driving glasses or even with various lens tints, know clearly that eye experts warn against this as a safe option.”

Any tinted lenses used during low-light conditions will reduce visibility even further because while they darken oncoming headlights, they also darken total surroundings as well making driving less-than safe. Instead, do what you can to eliminate any sources of night vision problems as discussed in “Shedding some Light on Night Driving Challenges, Part  1” before deciding on other options, such as trying tinted lenses.

Low-Light Work Conditions. When working in shaded areas, at dusk, indoors and at night, workers should wear clear lenses to allow proper lighting for the job at hand. All too often, though, workers wear tinted lenses all day, every day, instead of making the switch when necessary.

For up-close work, working in a trench, tight proximity work, using power tools, etc. You should be wearing clear lenses. It’s not a fashion show, it’s a work site,” says John Meola, safety consultant with Invincia Insurance Solutions in Chesterfield, VA in “Ten Tips to Prevent the Construction-Accident High Season.

Fortunately, Safety glasses with interchangeable lenses provide the perfect solution for workers who may spend a great deal of time working in the sun but who also have tasks to perform in low-light conditions.

Constantly-Changing Situations. Some work situations require moving from an outside to an inside environment and back again regularly. Those few moments with a dramatic change in lighting can produce unsafe conditions without the proper safety eyewear. The best options in these situations are NOT transition lenses, however, as many believe.

Photochromic lenses should rarely be authorized since the rate of tint change is too slow to allow movement into and out of buildings where eye injury hazards exist.” (Safety Glasses and Tinted Lenses)

Instead, ANSI recommends using flip-up lenses attached to safety glasses, giving wearers an almost instantaneous view of their surroundings whether inside or outside in the sun.

For sure, individuals exposed to sunlight while working should protect their eyes with tinted safety sunglasses having 99.9% UV protection. But often, situations require using a clear lens to allow for better visibility and thus a safer working situation. Take time to understand when tinted lenses are not the best option and to find a suitable alternative for your specific situation.