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Stakeholders Invited to Develop Sports Eyewear Performance Standard

Members of the sports eyewear industry are invited to develop a new standard for sports eyewear with a task group of ASTM Subcommittee F08.57 on Eye Safety for Sports, part of Committee F08 on Sports Equipment and Facilities.

Users, designers, performance engineers, manufacturers, retail salespersons, and others are sought to devise standard requirements for protective eyewear designated for golf, mountain biking, mountaineering, and similar activities.

The task group will focus on the performance of medium/high impact sunglasses, eyeglasses, or eyewear often worn during these activities, according to optical engineer Dale Pfriem, president, ICS Laboratories, Brunswick, Ohio, and task group chairman.

Pfriem said a measure of product robustness and impact performance is needed between the fashion/casual eyewear addressed in American National Standards Institute Z80.3 Nonprescription Sunglasses and Fashion Eyewear - Requirements, and the high-impact sports eyewear addressed in ASTM F 803, Standard Specification for Eye Protectors for Selected Sports.

“The ANSI Z80.3 standard requires only the basic-level FDA drop ball test (5/8 in. steel ball at 50 in.),” Pfriem said. “This imparts an impact of 0.2 joules on the eyewear lens. The ASTM F 803 standard utilizes either a tennis ball, racquetball, baseball, etc., per the designated sport. All in all, the minimum impact imparted in testing is on the order of 19 joules (squash ball).

“As can be readily seen, the difference in impact protection and designed product robustness as assessed by the two standards is far apart.” Although high-impact protectors such as those specified in ASTM F 803 are recommended for tennis, Pfriem noted that the established practice is to wear “performance sunwear” by popular designers that is more stylish and less cumbersome than goggle-type eyewear specified in ASTM F 803. “Many of these products far exceed the robustness requirements of ANSI Z80.3,” he said, “but cannot possibly pass the rigorous requirements of ASTM F 803.” The proliferation of “performance sunglasses” on the market that are worn during medium/high impact sports, as well as the recognized need for eye protection in these activities, created the need for the proposed new standard.

For further information, contact Dale Pfriem, ICS Laboratories, 1072 Industrial Pkwy. N., Brunswick, OH 44212 (330/220-0515; fax: 330/220-0516). Committee F08 meets Nov. 14-17 in Orlando, Fla. For meeting or membership details, contact Staff Manager Jim Olshefsky, ASTM (610/832-9714). //

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