Sunglasses - UV ratings should be included in product description

I have photosensitivity and really needed good UV and glare protection outdoors. I had been wearing regular sunglasses plus fitovers and still not great so decided to spend the money to get really good protection. I hadn’t done enough research unfortunately but relied on the dispensing vendors for guidance - I stated the situation upfront and said I need strong protection. “Yes, of course!” I had another eye test and consultation with optometrist and said again “I need strong protection sunglasses”. they assured me that they would provide that. Well, the glasses I bought are polarised but still nowhere near what I need. I wear them plus the fitovers and no better that the old glasses.

Now I know about categories and have read Choice review dated 2019 (1): . It states: “As of July, 2019, all sunglasses sold in Australia must be tested and labelled according to the Australian/New Zealand standard AS/NZS 1067.1:2016.”
Cancer Council (2) quotes from the AS: “Sunglasses and fashion spectacles meeting the Australian/New Zealand Standard must be labelled to specify that they comply with AS/NZS 1067.1:2016, and which lens category they comply with. Fashion spectacles (lens categories 0 and 1) are not sunglasses and do not provide adequate protection against UV radiation.”
but that website article also says:
“The Standard also specifies lens dimensions (width and height) and transmittance (visible light), detection of signals, optical quality, coverage (Category 4 only) safety requirements.”
… which seems a bit contradictory to the previous quote. I will have to go to the source and read the AS myself.

So it seems that my glasses are polarised but only UV cat 0 - 2.
If I had read the Choice review first, I would have asked for UV ratings etc before purchasing. The vendor website has a lovely blurb about UV ratings but unfortunately it doesn’t apply that in the actual consumer information when selling. I doubt if they would have actually have been able to tell me what it was.
Ethically sound consumer service would include education of the front of shop staff about UV ratings and discuss requirements with customers who are purchasing sunglasses, even if it was not predicated by law. (Am I dreaming?)

So enough whining and to the points:

  • why is the information not required to be provided routinely with the product description for all categories?
  • as a fallback, why is it practically impossible to find out what a rating is? google searches haven’t brought up any further information about the sunglasses I purchased. I have looked at some UV400 sunglasses advertised online but they do not provide any evidence of that certification.

  2. Fact sheet - Eye protection - National Cancer Control Policy


Not necessarily. Your subjective experience may not align with any given category - especially given your photosensitivity .

Your core problem is that you took professional advice and were supplied goods that were not suitable. Have you approached the optometrist for an exchange or refund? Under consumer law products must be suitable for intended purpose.


When I could still ski, I always used either Vuarnet or Revo. I developed sensitivity to sunlight after never wearing sunglasses until I was about 20 years old, but spending summers out on the water sailing, rowing etc. I took up skiing in my 20s.

Vuarnet was developed for snow conditions at altitude. At somewhere around 1800 or 2000 metres above sea level, IIRC, there’s approx 10 times the UV as at sea level. Even clouds don’t protect you. Vuarnet ski glasses appeared to have three filter bands across the lens with greater filtering above and below the centre section. Basically, these were mineral glass lenses with a film coating. I understand that you can get prescription lens versions, but I don’t know how you order them. I had another pair for sailing, but the frame broke and I couldn’t get a replacement. They were expensive glasses. IIRC the lenses were called “Skilynx acier”. They’ve had their signature “cats eye” frame style since the early 1960s when Claude Vuarnet won his Olympic gold.

Beware that they may not be the same today; they may have been taken over; or may have diversified or changed.

Revo was a small American manufacturer that used highly polished lens grade mineral glass for their range of high end sports performance glasses. I replaced my sailing Vuarnets with Revo H2Os. They were also excellent.

Now I have prescription lenses and I can’t do sports or most other good things. I have prescription sunglasses. They are not the same UV quality as either my Vuarnets or Revos were. They’re plastic lenses with less effective coatings that reduce light overall, but seem to let more glare in, but that’s a subjective opinion.

Ultimately, ratings and so on describe performance in a given test scenario. They may not match your personal experience. Since UV is not visible, UV exposure is not something that contributes to perception of glare or brightness. There’s also UV-A, B and C. I can’t remember which is more damaging.

Good luck solving it. As syncretic has said, it sounds like the glasses weren’t fit for the purpose requested.


Thanks for your responses. Interesting to hear about the Vuarnet and Revo.
Yes, ratings must be generated in specified conditions and measure defined parameters as defined by the applicable Australian Standard.
As I said, the point of the post is not whether I have been subjective or made inaccurate comments, but to ask whether vendors are complying with the requirements of AS/NZS 1067.1:2016 with respect to labelling and information available to consumers. The second part of that is where CAT# is available, what evidence or certifiaction is available? A vendor could say “these are CAT4” but where’s the evidence?

1 Like

A few more facts are required before we know if that direction is appropriate.

Are the sunglasses you bought prescription? If so all this talk of AS is irrelevant as it does not apply. If that is the case it is up to the optometrist to determine the prescription and the darkness. In this case you don’t have a problem with labels, you have a problem with an optometrist.

If they are not prescription the vendor (the optometrist) is still an important player. Have you been back and told them the glasses were not suitable? If so what did they say?


Care required to not confuse different properties of lens treatments which can be applied to prescription and protective glasses.

Tinting covers a variety of treatments. They may be as simple as a single fixed colour tint that filters one band of light (colour spectrum). Or provide light reactive coatings that darken when exposed to bright light (UV activated common).

Polarised coatings which filter light by blocking (various levels of performance) light predominantly aligned in a single or multiple planes. (Glare reduction, hence less total visible light transmitted.)

UV absorbing coatings. Typically these are clear coatings designed to absorb UVA and UVB.

The Australian standards Cat 2,3,4 are a combined rating of UV protection plus varying degrees of visible light reduction. Tint or polarised.

I’ve an issue with light sensitivity in one eye due to trauma. It would be surprising if your Optometrist did not explain the difference between how your eye reacts to visible light and UV. Since we cannot see UV our eye cannot react to it. Any immediate sense of a bright light is a reaction of the eye to visible light, and not to UV.

Note: Tinting may be a better solution than polarised, depending on the underlying cause of the sensitivity. A higher or lesser level of UV filter coating of a lens will not be evident to the naked eye. Long term damage excepted.

1 Like

I have been wearing sunglasses since soon after leaving school 50+ years ago due to sensitivity to glare (probably just due to my blue eyes). I changed to ‘Original’ Cancer Council sunglasses 20+ years ago - they were wrap around and able to fit over my prescription glasses at that time. I have changed to Jonathon Paul Fitovers. It looks as though they are Category 3. I need the wrap around sunglasses to cut out the peripheral glare and UV light. The side panels are tinted, and enable peripheral vision which is important when driving. In my opinion, non-wrap around sunglasses and tinted prescription glasses are not satisfactory. I also can’t cope without a hat or cap.