Safety Glasses

November 29th, 2020

We need your help with testing.

RestoreCSA has received credible information that regular, commercially available safety glasses, certified by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) for 100% UV blocking, are not actually blocking UV.

A whistleblower advises that during testing of the most commonly available brands of safety glasses, “CSA and ANSI approved glasses are consistently failing the tests.”

This is worrying.  It’s well known that UV rays are damaging to the eyes.  Ultraviolet Keratitis is one such damage, but long-term eye damage from cumulative UV exposure tend to result in cataracts or macular degeneration. 

Most safety glasses are made with polycarbonate (PC).  This material naturally blocks 100% of UV light.  For manufacturers however, PC is pricier than acrylic, which looks the same but blocks nothing.

Through most of the whistleblower’s testing, the more expensive, CSA certified polycarbonate safety glasses are failing their tests.

Said our whistleblower; “All of the very cheap brands [we] tested, sometimes valued at $1 have blocked 100% of the UV.  It is often more expensive brands […] that block nothing.”

Test failures also mean the tested glasses aren’t made from polycarbonate, which would block UV, and are instead made from cheaper material like acrylic. 

Yet in order to be legally designated as “safety glasses” or to carry the “U6” designation for glasses, they must be made with polycarbonate.

It looks like yet another CSA testing scam;  Charge sky-high fees to the manufacturers for safety testing without actual testing or fretting over actual safety, and churn out meaningless product certifications.  If it is what it looks like, this is big.

We would like to invite our readership to help us test CSA’s certified safety glasses. 

A lot of folks who read these articles wear a hardhat for a living.  We know this.  We also know that if you’re in a hardhat, you’re likely using safety glasses fairly regularly.  In this, we think you should test the safety glasses that you use and let us know if they passed their test.

There are two easy options to test your glasses;

First, you can take your glasses to an optician and have them check your spex with a spectrometer or lensometer.  UV protection tests take a few seconds and nearly all optometrists will UV test your glasses for free.

Second, if you’re a total keener and own a UV flashlight, you could test by shining the UV flashlight onto your drivers license through the glasses.  You could also use Canadian dollar bills by the way, looking for the UV numbering on them.  “If the luminescent (invisible) paint on the license lights up when the UV light is passed through a pair of glasses, then the glasses do not block UV.” 

Please email us your results.  Specifically….

- Tell us who you are (we’ll keep it confidential)
- What glasses you tested (brand / model)
- Who tested them (you / optometrist / other)

Please submit your testing before January.  We’ll report the results early in the new year.

Fun stuff, folks.  Happy testing!