ANSI Z87.1 Defined

ANSI is an acronym for the American National Standards Institute, a nonprofit organization the the primary mission to…

Enhance both the global competitiveness of U.S. business and the U.S. quality of life by promoting and facilitating voluntary consensus standards and conformity assessment systems and safeguarding their integrity.

In other words, ANSI creates uniform testing standards and guidelines for a variety of products and equipment used by businesses in nearly every sector.

The Z87.1 portion references the standard for personal Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices. These standards help ensure personal eye and face protection devices provide the necessary protection from impact, non-ionizing radiation, and liquid splash exposures.

The ANSI Z87.1 standard has been updated twice since 2003, with revisions in 2010 and 2015. These updates focus on product performance and attempt to harmonize with international standards while keeping the needs of end users in mind with consideration to workplace hazards and regulatory obligations.

The current ANSI.1-2015 standard continues to differentiate protectors based on specific risks with additional emphasis placed on enabling users to select the appropriate protector based on their environment and the hazard.

Construction Worker Edge Safety GlassesSelecting the appropriate eye protection for your environment and it’s potential hazards is critical.

What Are The General Requirements For ANSI Z87.1

Since most people have never read the ANSI Z87.1 document, they may not fully understand what this certification covers. The ANSI Z87.1 certification helps in this effort by providing a certification system organized based on encountered hazards.

This standard means the choice of safety eyewear revolves around what best represents the protection needed for the specific hazards encountered in the workplace. The most common hazards include:

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

Most safety eyewear manufacturers now provide packaging and product information revolving around how products meet these standards. Note that prescription safety lenses are also allowed under this standard. Previously, they had to be a certain thickness, but thinner prescription lenses are now allowed if they meet high-impact testing requirements.

What Is The Testing Processes

ANSI Z87.1 certified safety glasses undergo intensive testing to ensure they’ll protect eyes as expected. Tests include…

  • Basic and high-impact for lenses and frames.
  • Exposure to non-ionizing radiation and chemicals.
  • Durability to flammables and corrosion.

The following video from Edge Eyewear does an excellent job demonstrating the different tests performed on safety eyewear. After seeing how badly non-safety-rated eyewear fails these basic tests, you’ll only want to purchase ANSI-Z87.1 rated eyewear.


What Are The Product Markings

Starting in 2010 with additional updates in 2015, the ANSI Z87.1 standard requires efficient and easy-to-understand lens & frame markings. These markings help make the selection process simpler and increases compliance. Those product markings indicate ratings in the following areas:

  • Impact: “Z87+” indicates high-velocity impact, and “Z87” alone means basic impact
  • Splash and droplet: D3 for splash and droplet and D4 for dust
  • Fine dust: D5
  • 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
  • Prescription: Z87-2 on the front of the front of the frame and on both temples
  • Head size: H indicates products designed for smaller head sizes
  • Other: V for photochromic and S for special lens tint

All safety markings for ANSI Z87.1-2015 safety eyewear must be permanently and clearly marked on the frame or lens. This marking requirement includes goggles and face shields as well as safety glasses.

Product Marking Examples

ANSI Z87 Product Markings

ANSI Z87.1-2015 product markings on a pair of Bolle Safety Glasses.

The image above shows a pair of Bolle Safety Glasses with the new ANSI Z87.1-2015 product marking requirements. The marking is broken down as follows…

  • “Z87+” indicates eyewear meets the high-velocity impact requirement.
  • “U6” means the eyewear has a UV rating of 6, which is the highest rating.
  • “S” indicates a special lens tint because these glasses feature Bolle’s ESP lens.

You may encounter safety eyewear with only “Z87” or the manufacturer’s mark with a “+” stamped on the lens or frame. These products, produce before of just after the 2010 standard, are still safe to use. They still meet ANSI Z87.1 high-velocity impact safety standards, but they don’t have the new product marking requirements from the recent 2010 and 2015 standards.


The temple arm from an Oakley M-Frame 2.0 is marked with Z87 to indicate it’s ANSI Z87.1 certified.


Hazard exposure able to cause serious eye injury involves workers in almost every industry. When combined with 100% compliance to a mandatory eye protection program, the right safety eyewear based on the current ANSI Z87.1-2015 safety standards helps ensure that doesn’t happen.

Do you have questions or comments about ANSI Z87.1? Please leave a comment below.

By | 2017-06-02T17:51:35+00:00 February 28th, 2017|All Posts, Safety Tips|80 Comments

About the Author:

Michael Eldridge is a US Marine Veteran and the founder of He's passionate about protective eyewear and promoting vision safety. In his spare time, he enjoys target shooting, fishing, CrossFit, mountain biking, camping with his family and watching Detroit Tigers baseball.


  1. Anna October 1, 2015 at 5:32 pm - Reply

    What is new about the 2015 standards?

    • Michael Eldridge October 5, 2015 at 12:47 pm - Reply

      Hi Anna,

      Here’s a brief outline of changes in 2015. This is only a summary and doesn’t include all the details for every change.

      The 2015 revision continues to focus on product performance and harmonization with global standards and fine-
      tunes the 2010 hazard-based product performance structure noted by the following key changes:

      ï‚· Deleted minimum lens thickness from general requirements

      ï‚· Deleted additional impact requirements for specific protector types from impact protector requirements

      ï‚· Added automatic darkening welding filter devices to optical radiation protector requirements

      ï‚· Added angular dependence of luminous transmittance test for automatic welding filter devices

      ï‚· Added Illustrations to aid in refractive power, astigmatism and resolving power testing

      ï‚· Added examples of protector markings (acceptable and unacceptable)

      ï‚· Added minimum thickness requirements for prescription lenses

      ï‚· Added refractive power, astigmatism and resolving power tolerances and prism and prism imbalance

      tolerances for “readers, full-facepiece respirators and loose-fitting respirators”

      ï‚· Added “magnifiers” and “readers” to the marking requirements table

      ï‚· Added information that is to be provided with welding protectors

      ï‚· Hazard Assessment and Protector Selection expanded to include goggle ventilation and peripheral vision

  2. Jim Reed August 18, 2016 at 4:33 pm - Reply

    Customer is looking for safety glasses with ANSI Z87+U6, does ANSI Z87.1-2010 include/cover this specification ANSI Z87+U6?

    • Michael Eldridge August 18, 2016 at 7:47 pm - Reply

      Hi Jim,

      Thanks for submitting your question.

      Yes, ANSI Z87.1-2010 does reference the “U6” markings. Here’s how it’s broken down. The ANSI Z87+ portion means the safety glasses are approved for impact. The U indicates Ultraviolet Filter and the 6 represents the highest level filter (UV Scale is 2-6).

      These “new” eye protection markings were introduced in the 2010 standard and are now required in the recent 2015 update. However, it may take a while for manufacturers to completely phase in these new marking requirements.

  3. Brooke Minarchi September 3, 2016 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    On Rx safety glasses is it required to have markings on the lens as well as the frame?

    • Michael Eldridge September 6, 2016 at 1:35 pm - Reply

      Hi Brooke,

      Thank you for the question.

      Yes, Rx safety glasses are required to have the necessary markings on both the lens and frame.

      Here are the marking requirements for Rx spectacles:

      1. Manufacturer’s Mark or Logo on frame or lens.
      2. “+” symbol on lenses to indicate they’re impact rated.
      3. Z87-2+ on the frame.
      4. Z87+ on detachable sideshields if equipped.
      5. Prescription frames also require size markings on frame and temples in accordance with ANSI Z80.5-2010

  4. R Heathcott September 5, 2016 at 4:37 am - Reply

    Can you tell me what the U1-6 scale for UV protection signifies. Is it the percent of UV blocked or does it specify the wavelengths filtered. I have a face shield used in a laboratory to protect against 312nm UV with the code ANSI Z87 but no “U” scale number. How do I know it does block this wavelength or UV at all?

    • Michael Eldridge September 6, 2016 at 2:17 pm - Reply

      Hello and thank you for the question.

      The ANSI Z87.1-2015 standard defines UV radiation as follows: Ultraviolet Radiation (UV). Electromagnetic energy with wavelengths from 200 to 380 nanometers.

      The UV Scale uses a rather complicated mathematical formula, however, for simplicity, it’s divided into two wavelength categories, far and near.

      Far-ultraviolet is defined as; Transmittance of optical radiation with wavelengths from 200 to 315 nanometers weighted by its ability to damage the cornea.

      Near-ultraviolet is defined as; Transmittance of optical radiation with wavelengths from 315 to 380 nanometers.

      UV Filter Transmittance:
      U2: Max Effective Far UV= .1% / Max Near UV= 3.7%
      U2.5: Max Effective Far UV= .1% / Max Near UV= 2.3%
      U3: Max Effective Far UV= .07% / Max Near UV= 1.4%
      U4: Max Effective Far UV= .04% / Max Near UV= .5%
      U5: Max Effective Far UV= .02% / Max Near UV= .2%
      U6: Max Effective Far UV= .01% / Max Near UV= .1%

      Some products, such as laser safety glasses, will have wavelength protection ranges stamped or printed on the lens. Your face shield probably doesn’t have this information, but its worth checking.

      If your face shield lens is made from polycarbonate, you’re probably in good shape. Polycarbonate naturally blocks 99.9% of harmful UV radiation. However, I recommend contacting the manufacturer of the face shield to be certain you’re protected.

      The new 2015 marking requirements are still being phased in, so there is no guarantee a new face shield will show the “U” scale number.

  5. R Heathcott September 8, 2016 at 3:22 am - Reply


    Thanks for your reply about the “U” scale number etc.

    The shield I have is a Crews face shield with the marking ANSI Z87 on it. It looks like the one you have for sale on your website with SKU 103WFS. It has the blue top and looks just the same but I can’t find a SKU number on it.
    Ours is several years old. I note that your advertised one is Polycarbonate. Do you know whether all Crews face shields that look like this one would be polycarbonate?

    Thanks for your help.

    • Michael Eldridge September 8, 2016 at 6:37 pm - Reply

      The Crews Head Gear can accommodate most standard face shields no matter what brand. This adaptability makes it tough to know what face shield is attached to your Crews Head Gear. Not all face shields are made from polycarbonate, so there is a possibility that yours doesn’t block UV light. Currently, Crews offers several face shield styles and materials. Face shields made from PETG look similar to polycarbonate, but are primarily used for liquid splash protection and they usually don’t block UV radiation.

      Honestly, I think your best option is to purchase a polycarbonate replacement face shield.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns.

  6. sandy September 9, 2016 at 6:42 am - Reply


    I would like to know what is U6S that S meaning in the Bolle safety glasses you showed in article?

    • Michael Eldridge September 9, 2016 at 12:39 pm - Reply

      Hi Sandy,

      Thank you for the question.

      The “S” on the Bolle safety glasses stands for Special Lens Tint. This particular Bolle model features their ESP lens, which is slightly tinted and designed to reduce glare and blue light.

  7. sandy September 9, 2016 at 6:57 am - Reply

    Hi, its me again.

    I would also like to ask so for the new standard 2015. On the safety glass frame should be marked as ANSI Z87+ for 2015 standard?

    • Michael Eldridge September 9, 2016 at 12:45 pm - Reply

      Hi Sandy,

      Yes, the frame and lens should be marked with “Z87+” to indicate compliance with the high-velocity impact standards. Older models of safety eyewear may only have “Z-87” or “+” on the lens or frame.

  8. Edward Peake September 9, 2016 at 10:20 am - Reply

    As a airport player I’m exposed to 500fps and want to know will a pair of en166f / R Z787+ what is the max these glasses can take?

    • Michael Eldridge September 9, 2016 at 1:10 pm - Reply

      Hi Edward,

      Thank you for your question.

      The 500 fps you’re exposed to exceeds the Z87+ high-impact testing standard. The ANSI Z87.1-2015 high-impact velocity test consists of a 1/4″ steel ball shot at 150 fps, which is around 102 mph. Chances are most polycarbonate lenses may survive a 500 fps impact, but they haven’t been officially tested. In my opinion, it’s not worth the risk!

      You should seriously consider wearing ballistic rated eyewear because they’re tested using the US Military standards for impact protection (MIL-PRF-32432). In brief, the U.S. military standard requires that ballistic eyewear must be able to withstand up to a .15 caliber at 640 fps for spectacles and .22 caliber at 550-560 fps for goggles.

      The objects mass is just as important as it’s velocity. A heavier object will cause more damage than a lighter object moving at the same speed.

      Please keep in mind that safety glasses are not designed to protect you from all impact hazards. Make sure you evaluate the potential hazards in your workplace because you may need to wear ballistic rated goggles or even add a face shield.

      Thanks again for your excellent question. Please let me know if you have any other issues or concerns.

  9. Majid September 14, 2016 at 11:11 pm - Reply

    Hi Michael. To what maximum temperature are the Z87.1 glasses exposed to during testing? I am concerned about potential Arc Flash during electrical work. Thank you.

    • Michael Eldridge September 15, 2016 at 2:38 pm - Reply

      Hi Majid,

      Thank you for the question.

      During the ANSI Z87.1-2015 certification process, all safety eyewear is subjected to an Ignition Test. Safety glasses are touched by a thermocouple rod that’s been heated to 650 Celcius or 1202 Fahrenheit for five seconds. The purpose of this test is to ensure the protector’s material is resistant to ignition. With that said, melting is expected for polycarbonate and plastic frame materials at those temperatures. Arc flash temperatures can reach 35,000 degrees Fahrenheit!

      Arc Flash is a very dangerous hazard! You should always wear the appropriate safety equipment when arc flash is a possibility. OSHA came out with some new regulations for arc flash safety in 2015. Make sure you take the time to familiarize yourself with these new regulations. I also recommend you do some research on the appropriate protective gear required for each arc flash category.

      • Sandy November 17, 2016 at 7:45 am - Reply

        Hello Sir,

        Just wondering how to be determine that a EW is “Passed” for an Ignition test in ANSI Z87.1-2015.


        • Michael Eldridge November 18, 2016 at 1:34 am - Reply

          Hi, Sandy, thank you for the question.

          Safety eyewear must pass the ignition test before it can be certified as ANSI Z87.1-2015 compliant. Safety eyewear that doesn’t pass the ignition test cannot receive the ANSI certification.

          • Sandy November 18, 2016 at 2:19 am

            HI Michael,

            Sorry for the confusion. What I’m asking is how to be pass Ignition test for Ansi Z87.1-2015 standard.

            Thanks for your reply!

          • Michael Eldridge November 19, 2016 at 2:14 pm

            Hi Sandy,

            Thanks for clarifying.

            The aim of the ignition test is to ensure protective eyewear isn’t flammable. During the test, the eyewear is in contact with an arm mounted at 650 °C. The eyewear is compliant if it doesn’t catch fire, and if it does not continue to glow after the flame source has been removed. You can find more details in the actual ANSI Z87.1-2015 document, which can be purchased here.

          • Sandy November 21, 2016 at 1:28 am

            Thank you Michael for such clear explanation!

            Just wondering so if the safety glasses melted are fine? (As far as I know that Safety glasses made by poly-carbonate have melt point around 125°C…)

          • Michael Eldridge November 23, 2016 at 1:37 am

            Hi Sandy,

            You are correct about the safety glasses melting due to the high temperatures. The ignition test is to ensure the eyewear doesn’t burst into flames or continues to burn after the heat source is removed.

  10. Rey Mart Taneo September 21, 2016 at 10:43 am - Reply

    Sir Michael, I Have Edge safety glasses. My question is what does the E+S marking on the lens mean?

    • Michael Eldridge September 21, 2016 at 1:36 pm - Reply

      Hi Rey,

      Thanks for your question.

      The E+S markings on the lenses of your Edge safety glasses are used to indicate the following:

      • E = The manufacturer’s mark for Edge.
      • + = The designated ANSI Z87.1 marking for “impact-rated”.
      • S = The designated marking for “special purpose lens”.

      Since you have the “S” marking on your safety glasses, you must have one of Edge’s unique lens tints.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions.

      • Rey Mart Taneo October 13, 2016 at 5:51 am - Reply

        Sir Michael, Thank your for that very informative response.

  11. Patrick Childress September 22, 2016 at 12:45 pm - Reply

    Hi Michael,
    In Thailand, I bought from a sunglass stand the same sort of safety/sunglasses that are sold by Grainger in the U.S. However the only marking on these glasses is ANSI Z287.1 and SAFETY -R68. How do I know if these plastic glasses block UV rays? Is there an easy test I could do? These glasses are tinted not quite as dark as my Grainger safety glasses.

    • Michael Eldridge September 22, 2016 at 1:12 pm - Reply

      Hi Patrick,

      Thank you for the question.

      The vast majority of today’s safety glasses use polycarbonate lenses, which naturally blocks UV light, even with a clear lens. However, it would be nice if your safety glasses used the new marking requirements. Then you could be 100% confident that your safety glasses are providing the UV protection you need.

      If you know the brand/model name you can look for a specification sheet on the manufacturer’s website. The spec sheet will define the lens material and UV protection level.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns.

  12. Patrick Childress September 25, 2016 at 3:31 am - Reply

    Thanks Michael for your respons. That is a big help knowing polycarbonate is effective in blocking UV. Actually there is a name of Action Wear on the glasses but Googling that name brings up a lot of different distributors of glasses by that same name. Even with that there are no pictures of these same glasses in several sites I went into. Also there is no country of manufacture on the glasses where the glasses bought from Granger has China stamped in them. These really do appear to be the same glasses from the same manufacturer but not fully marked for U.S. import.
    Thanks again for your help,

  13. Sajeer Shamsudeen October 26, 2016 at 2:20 am - Reply

    Hi Michael,

    Please let me know the following;

    1. What would be the exact matching of EN ISO 166-1F from ANSI Standards for Safety Goggles

    2. If a Safety Goggle is meeting ANSI Z87.1-2003, will it be meeting EN ISO 166-1F?

    3. what are the Updates happened from ANSI Z87.1-2003 to ANSI Z87.1-2015?

    Looking forward for your reply

    • Michael Eldridge October 31, 2016 at 2:45 pm - Reply

      Hi Sajeer,

      Thank you for the questions.

      1. What would be the exact matching of EN ISO 166-1F from ANSI Standards for Safety Goggles?

      The European standard, EN166, allows for different levels of impact protection, radiation protection and optical clarity to exist with a given set of safety eyewear. In 166-1F, the 1 should indicate “Class 1 (High) optical quality suitable for regular use”. The “F” would indicate the strength of the lens and/or frame. Although it would be rare and strange to see, both the frame and lens could, in theory, be marked independently of each other with different levels of protection. An F rating means the lens and/or frame can withstand impacts against small objects travelling up to 45 meters per second, or 147.6 feet per second. This is very similar to but slightly less than, the 150 feet per second on which the ANSI Z87.1 standard is based.

      2. If a Safety Goggle is meeting ANSI Z87.1-2003, will it be meeting EN ISO 166-1F?


      3. what are the Updates happened from ANSI Z87.1-2003 to ANSI Z87.1-2015?

      Please read this document, which explains and summarizes the Z87.1 standard and its changes from 2003 to 2015.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions.

  14. Rikki November 1, 2016 at 3:44 pm - Reply

    Osha approved side shields should be marked what? Z87+ ? Brands suggested?

    • Michael Eldridge November 2, 2016 at 2:34 pm - Reply

      Hi Rikki,

      Thank you for the question.

      Yes, OSHA approved side shields will be marked with Z87+ or similar markings per the ANSI Z87.1-2015 standard.

      I highly recommend the Safety Optical brand as their quality and features are the best we’ve found. Their side shields are easy to install and available in multiple sizes and tints.

  15. Benjamin November 10, 2016 at 8:02 pm - Reply

    What is the best rating out of z87.1 or z87+s

    • Michael Eldridge November 11, 2016 at 10:01 pm - Reply

      Hi Benjamin,

      Thanks for the question. Using the ANSI Z87.1-2015 standard, the “Z87.1” designation means the eyewear is rated for basic impact only. The “Z87+S” marking means the eyewear is rated for high-velocity impacts. Plus, the letter “S” indicates the eyewear has a special lens tint. Hope this helps clarify the difference.

  16. Mike November 11, 2016 at 4:03 am - Reply

    If a patient brings in a safety frame and wants non safety lenses in it. Is it legal to do so? Also, does scratching off the ANSI from the frame make it possible to legally put non safety lenses in it? Thank you

    • Michael Eldridge November 11, 2016 at 10:08 pm - Reply

      Hi Mike,

      Thank you for the question.

      You can install any lens you want in a safety frame. However, non-safety lenses won’t have the required ANSI Z87.1-2015 markings, which makes them non-compliant. For prescription safety glasses to stay compliant with ANSI Z87.1 both the frame and lenses must have the required markings, per the ANSI Z87.1-20015 standard.

  17. Edith Ortiz November 12, 2016 at 8:27 pm - Reply

    Hello, My name is Edith and I work for the railroad. We have been given ANSI Z87.1-2015 safety glasses to wear. But a lot of of Engineers and Conductors are complaining about having a hard time seeing signals, it seems like they attract the glare of the LED lights, glasses are difficult to maintain clean. It seems like what ever gets on them, it can’t be clean they stay dirty. Also, there are a lot of complaints abou headaches, I’m assuming that’s because we’re trying to look over 200 feet down a length of a train with these glasses that in my opinion are making it hard to see.

    • Michael Eldridge November 14, 2016 at 4:00 pm - Reply

      Hello, Edith, and thank you for your question.

      When you stated that you had been given safety glasses to wear, I got the sense that this might be a recent thing. Perhaps your crew didn’t routinely wear them in the past or weren’t required to. If that is the case, then it’s not necessarily surprising that they are experiencing some of these issues. These complaints are not uncommon from newer users of safety eyewear.

      First, let’s establish that some people are more naturally sensitive than others regarding their eyesight. Eyewear of any kind may bother them, whether it’s viewing life through a lens, having some of their peripheral vision blocked, or simply having anything on their face or that close to their eyes.

      Next, the type of eyewear one selects (or is given) can vary significantly and this can also impact the wearer’s reaction and vision. Some safety glasses have large, thick, opaque frames that may completely block one’s peripheral vision. The reduced peripheral sight may give some a sense of tunnel vision or claustrophobia and make them uncomfortable. Others wearing the same style might feel safer, that nothing is getting through to their eyes. Many safety glasses do not use a traditional frame. Instead, their polycarbonate eyewear has a faux frame molded into the lens or even has no real discernible frame at all. If these glasses are lighter in color, such as with a Clear lens, then lights can be reflected or refracted off and through the edges of that frame or lens, and be seen as added glare. This issue is more often associated with cheaper wrap-around styles. Could this be what was given to you?

      You might consider eyewear that has an opaque frame (not transparent), such as a matte black, that will not only not cause the refraction of light but will also keep any reflected light to a low minimum. Depending on the time of day, night, or the lights you’re dealing with, you might also consider a lens that helps block a little glare. An Indoor/Outdoor lens is an excellent alternative to clear, providing your environment isn’t too dark. This lens usually has a light mirror coating over a clear base, and helps dim excessively bright lights or reduce some annoying glare. It is not a transitional lens but is viewed as a lens that simply works for both indoor and outdoor applications, given that it is a happy medium of light and dark, about 50-55% light transmission.

      There are many options, but here are some suggestions for such glasses:
      Bolle Silium Plus, Elvex Sonoma (light brown), Jackson Nemesis, Pyramex Venture 2, Pyramex Ever-Lite, Pyramex PMX-Torq

      I suspect there is an abundance of grease and oil around a railroad. It could even be airborne as a train passes, with fine particles landing on your lenses. These can accumulate slowly and likely become a mess to wipe off, as you’ve described. You might consider eyewear that is oleophobic, meaning it has a lens coating that resists oils. Some Oakley brand eyewear has such a coating, and they do offer a variety of ANSI Z87 certified safety glasses. A new, cheaper alternative is called Pacaya Lyviz, from Elvex, which is also oleophobic and hydrophobic. The Pacaya is offered in a Clear lens only at this time, but it does have foam padding that would prevent any glare from passing through the edges of the lens.

      Lastly, you might also look at one of our cleaning products. The Optic-Magic polish is not ideal for your oily environment, but the wipes might be. You’ll just want to be sure not to wipe to aggressively as the cleaning solution dries, as the wipes could become abrasive.

      If you have more questions, feel free to contact us. I hope this helps.

  18. Dennis Armstrong November 18, 2016 at 4:00 pm - Reply


    I wear prescription glasses at work and need ansi approved lenses but I can’t see very well. Is there an ansi alternative?

    • Michael Eldridge November 19, 2016 at 2:18 pm - Reply

      Hi Dennis,

      Thank you for the question.

      All protective eyewear is required to be ANSI Z87.1-2015 compliant; there are no alternatives. I recommend you purchase prescription safety glasses from a reputable vision center. Quality prescription eyewear will provide you with the protection and clear vision you require.

  19. kiran pk November 23, 2016 at 10:29 am - Reply

    Does the safety goggles have an expiry date if there is how to identify

    • Michael Eldridge November 23, 2016 at 4:46 pm - Reply

      To my knowledge, safety glasses/goggles don’t have expiration dates. However, you should always inspect safety eyewear before using it. If the eyewear shows signs of excessive use or damage, don’t use it. Also, don’t use any safety eyewear that doesn’t have the required frame and lens markings per the ANSI Z87.1-2015 standard.

  20. Mia December 10, 2016 at 2:34 pm - Reply

    Hi Michael, my son is in First Robotics and will be attending college in the fall for mechanical engineering. We want to purchase a good pair of safety glasses for him and he prefers very basic clear glasses. Any suggestions?

    • Michael Eldridge December 12, 2016 at 8:53 pm - Reply

      Hi Mia,

      Thank you for your question. We have many styles and brands that meet your son’s criteria. Personally, when it comes to basic, lightweight styles, I would recommend safety glasses similar to the Pyramex Itek, Ztek or Crews Law 2. Please let me know if you’d like other suggestions.

  21. Luis December 12, 2016 at 9:45 pm - Reply

    Hi Mike, where can I Buy them but with prescription? thanks

    • Michael Eldridge December 14, 2016 at 3:22 pm - Reply

      Hi Luis,

      You can purchase prescription safety glasses from most local optometrists.

  22. Brad December 27, 2016 at 4:02 pm - Reply

    Do my prescription safety glasses with removable side shields labeled Z87-2+ meet the requirements of ANSI Z87.1?

    • Michael Eldridge January 12, 2017 at 2:28 pm - Reply

      Hi Brad,

      Thank you for your question.

      Your prescription safety glasses with removable side shields do meet ANSI Z87.1-2015. However, some employers do not allow removable side shields in their facilities, they may require the use of riveted side shields. Please check with your safety coordinator before investing in safety glasses with removable side shields.

  23. Steve Levin January 23, 2017 at 9:09 pm - Reply

    Michael, I teach automotive technology in a community college, and I have been trying to find a list of the operations that an auto mechanic does that requires safety glasses. We require our students to wear them at all times in our lab, but we are governed by state law, and I know the industry has different standards. I used to have a list with about 7 different operations, like grinding, refrigerant work, exhaust work, etc, but cannot find my old list or a current list.

    • Michael Eldridge January 24, 2017 at 7:40 pm - Reply

      Hi Steve,

      Thank you for the question.

      Honestly, with today’s safety awareness practices, an official list may be hard to come by. While there are certain operations that clearly require safety glasses, there are plenty of hidden hazards in automotive repair. Many auto shops, factories and worksites use a “blanket” safety eyewear policy. Basically, if you’re physically in the work area, you need to wear eye protection. This type of policy improves safety compliance and helps prevent random eye injuries.

  24. Paul Gallagher Jr February 20, 2017 at 5:37 pm - Reply

    Paul Gallagher Jr , Facilities Operations
    I have a pair of prescription glasses that have a marking on them I have not been able to identify it’s meaning, ARX Z87-2+ , I no that the Z87 standard and the (2+) is prescription with high velocity impact but what does the ARX mean ,it seems to be a high rating of some sort but I can’t seem to find a definite answer.

    • Michael Eldridge February 22, 2017 at 3:39 pm - Reply

      Hi Paul,

      Thanks for submitting your question.

      Your understanding of the Z87-2+ is correct. However, more than likely, the “ARX” markings indicate the manufacturer/brand that created the eyewear. I’m not familiar with the “ARX” brand, but it could be related to a series of prescription safety glasses called ArmouRx.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions.

  25. Brandy Bossle February 22, 2017 at 1:21 pm - Reply


    I have an employee with MW+ on his regular prescription glasses. If he has side shields that are rated, would these regular prescription glasses be OK to wear as safety glasses ? What does the MW stand for?

    • Michael Eldridge February 22, 2017 at 4:01 pm - Reply

      Hi Brandy,

      Thanks for submitting your question.

      According to the current ANSI Z87.1-2015 standard, prescription safety eyewear is required to have the following markings.

      1. Manufacturer’s Mark and Z87-2+ on at lease one temple of the frame.
      2. Manufacturer’s Mark and + on the lens (MW+). Additional markings may be included after the + to indicate special lens properties.
      3. Both detachable side shields must be marked Z87+.

      If any of the above markings are missing from the frame or lens, then the eyewear is not in compliance with the current ANSI standard.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions.

  26. vignesh March 27, 2017 at 6:00 am - Reply


    • Michael Eldridge March 28, 2017 at 1:39 pm - Reply

      Hello, thanks for leaving a comment.

      Can you provide me a brand name or style name for this product? How old are the goggles?

  27. Javor Kolev April 7, 2017 at 1:03 pm - Reply

    Dear Michael,
    Does “ANSI Z87.1 dustproof and splashproof” correspond to any IP rating for ingress protection, for example IP54?

    • Michael Eldridge April 10, 2017 at 3:42 pm - Reply

      Hi Javor,

      Thanks for submitting your question.

      In my experience, IP rating or International Protection Rating is defined as. Classifies and rates the degree of protection provided against intrusion (body parts such as hands and fingers), dust, accidental contact, and water by mechanical casings and electrical enclosures. It is published by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The equivalent European standard is EN 60529.

      The ANSI Z87.1 dustproof and splashproof markings are unrelated to IP Ratings. If you have another source or if you’re referring to a different “IP Rating” please let me know.

  28. Polly April 12, 2017 at 4:01 am - Reply

    Hi Javor,

    If the Dark Glass with ANSI and also CE standard, could be state both on lens? Or only can have printing either ANSI / CE?
    Thanks you.

    • Michael Eldridge April 18, 2017 at 3:13 pm - Reply

      Hi Polly,

      Thanks for your question.

      Some protective eyewear brands/styles have both ANSI & CE markings. Whether or not a particular style features ANSI or CE markings usually depends on the market its sold in. Products sold in Europe will have CE markings while the same product sold in the USA will feature ANSI markings.

  29. Javor Kolev April 12, 2017 at 4:43 pm - Reply


    Yes, I meant same IP standard, IEC 60529. Sometimes they call it International Protection, sometimes Ingress Protection, and ratings are shown as IPxy where ‘x’ is for solids and ‘y’ for liquids, as in the chart on the link.

    Higher IP rating levels refer to dust and liquid. For example, an IP54 rating means dust-protected and protected against water splashing.

    I wonder – if the “ANSI Z87.1 dustproof and splashproof” qualification does not map to IP54 or another IPxx rating, what is it related to, what does it mean.. Do you know?

    many thanks
    Javor Kolev

    • Michael Eldridge April 18, 2017 at 3:09 pm - Reply

      Thanks for clarifying.

      In my experience, the IEC 60529 is not related to protective eyewear and doesn’t translate to ANSI Z87.1-2015. Protective eyewear that is dust or splash rated must have the following marks per ANSI Z87.1-2015.

      D3 = Splash/Droplet
      D4 = Dust
      D5 = Fine Dust

  30. Katrina April 12, 2017 at 7:07 pm - Reply

    Hi Michael,

    I’m having a hard time figuring out if photochromic lenses are permissible for OSHA/ANSI regulated safety glasses. Is this something you can clarify for me?


    • Michael Eldridge April 18, 2017 at 3:36 pm - Reply

      Hi Katrina,

      Thanks for submitting your question.

      In Annex K. “Hazard Assessment and Protector Selection” of ANSI Z87.1-2015 the following statement about photochromic eyewear is listed.

      “Photochromic lenses darken when exposed to, and fade when removed from ultraviolet radiation or sunlight. They are frequently used to provide comfortable vision for a wide range of ambient illumination. They should be used with care where the wearer passes from outdoors to indoors in the course of the job. Photochromic lenses that do not meet the transmittance requirements of Table 6 and the switching index requirements of Table 11 are not suitable for protection from direct exposure to high radiance sources (e.g., welding arcs and unshielded high-intensity lamps). Photochromic lenses that do not meet the switching index requirements in Table 11 are not automatic darkening welding filters. Photochromic lenses should be used only after a complete hazard assessment and at the discretion of the person responsible for the selection of protectors“.

      I would add that the variable lens tint itself, however, is separate from and does not affect the ability of the eyewear to satisfy the impact protection testing minimums of Z87.1+. Similarly, the photochromic lens itself will not increase nor decrease any level of protection offered by the integrity or design of the frame and lens. As such, the question of suitability for a given task at hand may lie within the requirements or standards set forth by the manufacturer of any equipment being used, the person(s) responsible for providing protective gear, and/or the lighting environment a wearer is exposed to during his or her work.

      I hope my answer gives you some clarity. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  31. Steve Davis April 23, 2017 at 5:22 am - Reply

    I have a pair of yellow Walker’s Sport Glasses marked S Z87+U6L1.3 What does L1.3 mean?

    • Michael Eldridge April 24, 2017 at 2:56 pm - Reply

      Hi Steve,

      Thanks for submitting your question.

      The L1.3 is referencing Table 9, which refers to Transmittance Requirements for Visible Light Filters. A lens with the L1.3 marking has the highest visible light transmittance range with a maximum VLT of 85%, a nominal of 74.5% and a minimum of 67%. Basically, a clear lens would be closer to 85% VLT while a yellow lens will be closer to 67% VLT.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions.

  32. Marzi April 25, 2017 at 11:54 am - Reply

    Hi there, can you please advise me the difference in ANSI Z87.1 and EN166 European. Which one is better for impact.

    • Michael Eldridge May 9, 2017 at 4:18 pm - Reply

      Hi Marzi,

      This is a difficult question to answer because I’m not aware of a side by side comparison/study for these standards. You should only use safety eyewear that is compliant with the standard that is required in your geographical location. If you’re working in Europe, then you should be using safety eyewear that is compliant with EN166.

  33. Jacqueline Harris April 27, 2017 at 7:32 pm - Reply

    I have side shields for my prescription glasses that have Z87 prinded on each one. The brand is VisionAid. Are they ANSI approved

    • Michael Eldridge May 9, 2017 at 4:13 pm - Reply

      Hi Jacqueline,

      Thanks for submitting your question.

      The side shields must be marked with Z87+ to be certified. The lenses of your prescription eyewear should also bear the manufacturers mark, followed by a “+” for impact rated lenses. Plus, the frame must be marked with “Z87-2+”. Do NOT wear side shields with non-safety rated prescription eyewear.

  34. Stephen June 20, 2017 at 2:52 am - Reply

    I am looking for a ballistic set of glasses that also doubles as a prescription lens. Some in service models have frame inserts and these always seem to get dirty because oil from the eyelashes rub on the lens attracting dirt. The frames restrict field of vision especially on the sides. Even when shooting from the prone position the extra lens makes it difficult to focus. Due to my military role the glasses need to be a wrap around to protect from blood splatter etc. Reading what manufactures have to offer is always fraught with ambiguous language because they out to make a buck.

    therefore, do you have any suggestions as to a suitable set of mil spec ballistic glasses that come with one lens, either normal or prescription, and offer wrap around protection?

    • Michael Eldridge June 21, 2017 at 3:50 pm - Reply

      Hi Stephen,

      Thanks for submitting a question.

      While your desired combination of features presents some challenges, such as a prescription lens in a wrap-around design (generally a conflict in itself), and then a ballistic rating to boot, I believe the best solution here is the Wiley X SG-1.

      These are ballistic rated to the current standard MIL-PRF-32432(GL) and have been worn by the military for many years. In fact, they used to be on the Army’s Authorized Protective Eyewear List (APEL). They are Rx-Ready, in that the removable lens carriers can be easily fitted with prescription lenses (this model does not use an insert). There are two sets of carriers in each kit, giving you the option of having an alternate lens tint.

      The SG-1 is a convertible style, meaning it can switch from a glasses to goggle configuration (includes changeable strap). Because the frame is so flexible, you might consider wearing these as a low profile goggle for an optimum seal, protection, and fit.

      This lightweight unit is also NVG compatible.

      Other “glasses” options include these brands and models:
      – Bobster: Echo
      – Smith: Hideout, Hudson
      – Wiley X: Guard, Romer III, *Echo, *Gravity, Saint, Valor, XL-1 Advanced
      Note: The Wiley X Echo and Gravity are technically not ballistic rated.

      * Specifically stamped Z87-2 for prescription use/compliance

      Please let me know if you have any questions.

  35. Gerald Angst June 20, 2017 at 6:10 pm - Reply

    Great site! We require our people that are doing a specialized brazing operation to wear an IR 3.0 gray lens and seem to only be available from one source. This works out great; however the guys that wear prescription glasses us a face shield. Does some one make a face shield that is grey IR 3.0?

    • Michael Eldridge June 21, 2017 at 1:12 pm - Reply

      Hi Gerald,

      Thanks for submitting your question.

      I researched several vendors, but I was unable to find a Gray 3.0, Face Shield.

  36. BRYAN July 5, 2017 at 5:18 pm - Reply

    Would ANSI Z87.1 be considered to be arc flash rated?

  37. Jose Juan July 6, 2017 at 3:11 pm - Reply

    Hi Michael, I’m José Juan from Mexico, do you know any laboratory where they test for ANSI Z87.1?

    • Michael Eldridge July 10, 2017 at 2:45 pm - Reply

      Hi Jose,

      Thanks for sending us your question.

      You can find a list of accredited product bodies by visiting this page at ANSI.ORG.

Leave A Comment