Shade 14 glasses are the safe way to view a solar eclipse.
Next year, August 21, 2017, millions of people will experience the most spectacular astronomical event, the first total solar eclipse to hit North American since 1979. It’s also the first total solar eclipse to sweep the entire width of the United States from West Coast (Oregon) to East Coast (South Carolina) since 1918.
You’ll enjoy it most if you protect your eyesight with Shade 14 solar eclipse glasses.
What is a Solar Eclipse
As the Earth rotates once every 24 hours while revolving around the Sun once a year, the Moon revolves around the Earth at a 5 degree angle every four weeks, creating the lunar cycle. Because the Moon’s orbit is elliptical, every once in a great while the Moon comes between the Earth and the Sun. With the Sun’s source of light behind the Moon, it casts its shadow on the Earth. Usually it’s only a partial shadow or eclipse.
However, when the Moon’s apparent diameter is large enough to fully block out the Sun’s light, that’s a total solar eclipse. Because the Moon is smaller than the Sun, although much closer to Earth, the shadow it casts is a narrow band. The 2017 solar eclipse will have a band of totality about 67 miles in diameter. Outside it, people will still know the eclipse is happening, but they won’t experience the point when the Moon totally covers the Sun.
The time the sun spends totally blocked varies. In 2017, while over North America, the totality phase of the eclipse will last from 1 minute 43 seconds to 2 minutes 41 seconds while it’s over Shawnee National Forest just south of Carbondale, Illinois. During the totality, the Moon turns day into night. You can see the stars in the sky even though far off, on the horizon around you, the Sun is still shining. You’re in the middle of a cone of night surrounded by normal daylight.
However, except for that brief period when it’s 100% blocked by the Moon, the Sun’s light can still blind you.
Welders Need Powerfully Protective Glasses
Welding is a risky occupation, and they are most at risk for eye injuries, according to the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety. One-quarter of all injuries from welding damage the eye. Flying dust particles and debris might hit them there. Chemical gases and fumes might irritate their eyes. The flame of the welding torch puts out a bright light, including ultraviolet light and radiation waves the human eye cannot see. However, even though unseen, they burn retinas.
Welding arcs give off radiation ranging from 200 nanometers to 14,000 nanometers. This includes:
* Ultraviolet radiation (200 to 400 nanometers)
* Visible light (400 to 700 nanometers)
* Infrared radiation (700 to 14,000 nanometers)
Scientists divide ultraviolet radiation into three types:
* UV-A (315 to 400 nanometers) — absorbed by the lens of your eye
* UV-B (280 to 315 nanometers) — absorbed by the cornea of your eyes
* UV-C (200 to 280 nanometers) — absorbed by cornea of your eye
Because your lens absorbs UV-A radiation, medical science associates it with long-term risk of cataracts.
When your cornea absorbs too much UV-B and UV-C, it’s at risk of snow blindness and permanent damage.
The Bright Visible Light Also Endangers Welders
The extremely bright light welders must stare at overwhelms your iris so it cannot close fast or far enough to protect your retina. Blue light at 440 nanometers is particularly dangerous. Welders must protect themselves from blue light hazard, the scarring of the retina, which can cause blindness.
This kind of light overheats the lens of your eye, increasing the risk of developing cataracts.
Some UV radiation irritates and injures the skin and conjunctiva of the eye. They call this condition arc eye, welder’s eye and arc flash. It’s conjunctivitis caused by the welder’s overexposure to the UV radiation.
Personal Protective Equipment
Because of the risk they run of eye damage, welders need to protect their eyes. They have helmets, and in addition need to wear protective glasses.
The 3 Kinds of Welders Glasses
* Shade 5
* Shade 10
* Shade 14
The higher the shade number, the darker the glasses, and, therefore, the more protection they provide because the less light passes through the lenses.
Shade 14 are the most powerful safety glasses welders can wear. Glasses sold as Shade 14 must comply with ANSI Z87.1, Practice for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection. ANSI is the American National Standards Institute.
ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2015 defines the performance specifications and designs of eye and face safety equipment. This includes goggles and glasses for many job sites.
The Z87 Committee on Safety Eye and Face Protection developed these standards, and the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA). ANSI approved them. The United States Occupational Health and Safety Administration incorporates them into their regulations for personal protective equipment.
Shade 14 Glasses Block:
* 99% of ultraviolet light
* 97% of visible light
Sunlight is Also Bright and Contains the Full Range of Radiation and Light
Scientists widely accept that ultraviolet radiation in sunlight accelerates skin and outer eye aging, and contributes to getting cataracts. If viewed directly, the sun’s light is even brighter than a welding arc and damages the retina in just a few seconds. This is true even when the Moon is blocking 99% of the Sun’s surface during the eclipse.
The only time it’s safe for a naked eye to look directly at the Sun is during the total stage of a total eclipse, which lasts just a minute or two. And it applies only to the people who are in the correct locations. While the Moon is covering the Sun, known as first contact, everybody should use powerful filters. Do not remove them until trained observers signal the total period of the eclipse.
NASA recommends everybody use powerful filters to view the solar eclipse. That’s glass with a thin layer of silver, aluminum or chromium which attenuates the light that passes through, the entire spectrum from ultraviolet to infrared. They recommend using Shade 14 glasses made for welders.
Do Not Use These to View the Solar Eclipse:
Do Not Wait Until the Last Moment to Buy Unproven Glasses
On August 21 next year, millions of people will view the eclipse using glasses and filters they bought at the last moment from some vendor hawking them, taking advantage of the event to make a quick dollar.
Don’t risk your precious eyesight to unproven glasses. You don’t know where they came from or who really made them. The vendor will assure you they’re safe, but you can’t verify that.
Buy your Shade 14 solar eclipse glasses from an established and reputable manufacturer of protective glasses and goggles. A company with a history of making and selling glasses to protect workers from the hazards of radiation, lasers, MRI and glass working. They’ll sell you Shade 14 you can count on because they already have thousands of welders using the same glasses to protect their eyes while working.