No Marking System
“How Can You Identify Ballistic Eyewear?“ details how to differentiate between civilian (ANSI) and ballistic (military) standards. The article also discusses where to find and identify ballistic-rated safety eyewear.
Though change is still expected, ballistic-rated eyewear currently has no required marking. Ballistic-rated eyewear holds to a much higher impact standard than ANSI-certified eyewear, however, it still does not have a marking system indicating the product as APEL certified (military grade safety eyewear).
Marking System Forthcoming
The Army originally announced this marking addition in 2011. However, implementation was put on hold until 2016 to “allow wear-out of previously issued eyewear.” Even with 2017 well underway, individuals who wear ballistic eyewear still await the marking system.
Army Times details the last known official information in its May 2015 article “Army releases new, longer list of approved eye pro“. These new markings still appear to be on the horizon for ballistic-rated eyewear, but wearers currently remain in a holding pattern.
Until the new marking requirements arrive, the only way to know if eyewear meets APEL standards is to check the Qualified Products List (QPL). PEO Soldier regularly updates this list.
Note that safety eyewear retailers and manufacturers often list products they say, or whenever military individuals risk injury from impact, meet this standard. However, only eyewear on the QPL is authorized for wear during combat, training, or whenever military individuals risk injury from impact.
For now, keep to the advice of PEO Soldier officials who recommend double-checking the official list before buying eyewear since…
“…only APEL products have been tested by the Army and shown to provide the level of protection it requires.”
Helpful Starting Point
The lists provided by many safety eyewear retailers and manufacturers is still helpful. Their ballistic-rated safety eyewear provides a helpful starting point to check against the QPL.
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