NSC expo
Subscribe or Register
View Cart  

Earn recertification points from the Board of Certified Safety Professionals by taking a quiz about this issue.

What's Your Opinion?

Has an employer ever asked you to do something that violated your code of ethics as a safety professional?

Take the poll and add your comment.

Vote   Results

Get the news that's
important to you.

Sign up for Safety+Health’s free monthly newsletters on:

  • Construction
  • Health Care Workers
  • Manufacturing
  • Mining, Oil and Gas
  • Office Safety Tips
  • Transportation
  • Worker Health and Wellness
  • Subscribe today

    Cleaning coated safety eyewear: silicone vs. non-silicone

    February 1, 2006

    • / Print
    • Reprints
    • Text Size:
      A A
    Can lens cleaners with silicone harm anti-reflective or hard coatings on safety eyewear?

    Answered by Rita J. Widner, sales supervisor, Bausch & Lomb, Rochester, NY.

    Let us start by explaining why a user would use silicone vs. non-silicone lens cleaners. Silicone lens cleaners are used in environments where increased anti-fogging and/or anti-static protection is required. Non-silicone lens cleaners are used in environments requiring product purity and/or prohibiting silicone. As with any cleaner, any debris on the lenses must be removed before cleaning to ensure the eyewear is not scratched.

    Reactions to lens cleaners may include, but are not limited to, streaking, cloudiness and staining of the coating. There is no real way to tell what type of coating is on the lenses by visual inspection. When unsure of the coating the user should contact the manufacturer or a doctor to confirm the type of coating on the eyewear. Users should beware before cleaning any type of eyewear that includes a coating.

    Types of coating

    There are several types of coatings available for eyewear and they are becoming increasingly popular. Anti-reflective, reflective and mirror-type coatings are the most susceptible to lens cleaners of all formulations. These coatings range from a high-end vacuum-coated finish to a water-based, air-dry coating. Harsh chemicals can affect eyewear coatings over time. Therefore, the user should use a neutral pH cleaner when cleaning his or her eyewear. It is not whether the cleaner has silicone or not – it is the acidity of the cleaner that can affect coated eyewear.

    If you work in an environment requiring increased anti-fog capabilities you will want to use silicone-based products. However, you will need to confirm that silicone is allowed in your facility/work environment. You also will want to confirm the cleaner you are using is a neutral pH cleaner so there will be less impact on your lenses with coatings.

    Post a comment to this article

    Safety+Health welcomes comments that promote respectful dialogue. Please stay on topic. Comments that contain personal attacks, profanity or abusive language – or those aggressively promoting products or services – will be removed. We reserve the right to determine which comments violate our comment policy.