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Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants

ISSN Print: 1050-6934
ISSN Online: 1940-4379

Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants

DOI: 10.1615/JLongTermEffMedImplants.v16.i4.50
pages 315-326

Ultraviolet and Short Wavelength Visible Light Exposure: Why Ultraviolet Protection Alone Is Not Adequate

Alan W. Reichow
Professor of Optometry, Pacific University College of Optometry, Forest Grove, OR, USA
Karl Citek
Professor of Optometry, Pacific University College of Optometry, Forest Grove, OR, USA
Richard Edlich
Legacy Verified Level I Shock Trauma Center Pediatrics and Adults, Legacy Emanual Hospital; and Plastic Surgery, Biomedical Engineering and Emergency Medicine, University of Virginia Health System, USA

ABSTRACT

The danger of exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation in both the natural environment and artificial occupational settings has long been recognized by national and international standards committees and worker safety agencies. There is an increasing body of literature that suggests that protection from UV exposure is not enough. Unprotected exposure to the short wavelengths of the visible spectrum, termed the "blue light hazard," is gaining acceptance as a true risk to long-term visual health. Global standards and experts in the field are now warning that those individuals who spend considerable time outdoors should seek sun filter eyewear with high impact resistant lenses that provide 100% UV filtration, high levels of blue light filtration, and full visual field lens/frame coverage as provided by high wrap eyewear.
The Skin Cancer Foundation has endorsed certain sunglasses as "product[s]. . .effective [as] UV filter[s] for the eyes and surrounding skin." However, such endorsement does not necessarily mean that the eyewear meets all the protective needs for outdoor use.
There are several brands that offer products with such protective characteristics. Performance sun eyewear by Nike Vision, available in both corrective and plano (nonprescription) forms, is one such brand incorporating these protective features.