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March 1, 2016

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Eyewear fogging solutions from 3M

Keith Fecteau, Global Laboratory Manager for 3M Eye, Head and Face Protection and Simon Field, Technical Application Engineer at 3M UK discuss the important role lens coatings play in safety eyewear.

Our eyes are especially vulnerable to accidents and injury. Removing or reducing the hazard is always the best option, but, in practice, this isn’t always possible – meaning eye protection is a necessity in a wide range of workplace environments.

Without the correct protection, debris, chemicals and particles can enter the eyes, causing pain, discomfort and in extreme instances, even irreversible damage.

3m squareDepending on the site risk assessment, workers may be required to wear protective spectacles, goggles or a full faceshield. The lenses of such safety equipment often come with coatings that provide scratch resistance and/or that help to reduce fogging. Unfortunately, these coatings typically wear away quickly, leaving the worker with visibility issues caused by scratches or condensation on the lens.

In fact, this is one of the biggest issues facing safety eyewear wearers and can result in impaired vision.

Dealing with fogged and scratched lenses can be frustrating and even dangerous when working in demanding situations.

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Workers may resort to removing their eyewear to wipe away fog on the lenses, or to get a better view. This can expose their eyes to potentially dangerous workplace impact hazards, including dust and liquid splashes.

This could in turn lead to reduced productivity or increased employee downtime.

In practice it’s not unusual for workers to resort to using a sleeve, a tissue or anything else that may be lying around to carry out this on-the-job cleaning. But, in order to achieve a balance between lens clarity and protection, lens coatings tend to be applied thinly, making them especially susceptible to surface abrasion caused by cleaning.

You would expect safety eyewear to last many weeks or months depending on the application. However, with necessary, frequent cleaning lenses can quickly deteriorate and become unfit for use, resulting in employers having to make costly and frequent repurchase of safety eyewear. At worst, they may have to deal with the consequences of injury.

We want to help employees and employers see what they’ve been missing.

3M has introduced the Scotchgard Anti-Fog Coating to help resolve this problem. The new technology offers superior anti-fog protection, which outperforms the EN166 N marking requirements for anti-fog performance by up to 5 x.* The Scotchgard Coating is applied more than 50 per cent thicker than most coatings on the market while retaining optical clarity Class 1. This means better performance and longevity.

The technology is currently available on two 3M eyewear ranges; the Solus Safety Spectacle Series 1000 in a range of lens colours and comfort options and the Goggle Gear Series 500, which features an adjustable strap and optional prescription insert. All products come with polycarbonate lenses, which absorb 99.9 per cent of UV rays.

Unlike alternatives, Scotchgard Anti-Fog Coating Eyewear has been shown to retain its anti-fog properties for a minimum of 25 washes with mild detergents and water as well as disinfectants including IPA solution, making it a reliable and economical choice.

To find out more about Scotchgard Anti-Fog Coating for Safety Eyewear and apply for your FREE trial visit:

*Based on 3M internal testing per EN168 test method. 3M has tested a number of own-brand and competitive products in order to get a complete cross-section of the market from premium products to cheaper alternatives.

Keith Fecteau is the Global Laboratory Manager for 3M Eye, Head and Face Protection and Simon Field is the Technical Application Engineer at 3M UK.

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