Have you seen the ‘Proposition 65’ warning on your new pair of sunglasses? Then, you started wondering, “what is this warning?” Have you been asking yourself if “do all sunglasses have prop 65 or is it only yours?” I know you’ve been searching for answers. So, let me give it straight to you in this post.
If you’re living in California, you’ll see that all sunglasses have the Prop 65 warning. It means exposure to chemicals leading to cancer, congenital disabilities, and health hazards. But if you live outside the state, you’ll not see this caution.
Sunglasses and other prescription glasses often contain a chemical. One of them is Bisphenol-A (BPA). It is a material that is common on polycarbonate lenses. But what is this element? What makes you vulnerable to it? And why is prop 65 only in California? Learn more about BPA as we give answers to your questions.
What Is Prop 65?
Proposition 65 or Prop 65 is a law applicable to businesses that sell items in California. It requires companies and distributors to disclose warnings about significant chemical exposure.
This law allows citizens to make informed decisions in buying items. How?
Prop 65 states that an item has chemicals known to cause health issues. But would you be at risk when a product has this warning?
Originally, law enforcers called it the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986. It was only specific to water, but they expanded to almost all items coming into California’s market.
This law protects its citizens from drinking or consuming contaminated products. It could also be for consumable items in containers or plastic wraps.
So, why does this law also apply to sunglasses?
In May 2015, California relisted Bisphenol-A (BPA) on its Prop 65 chemicals record. Again, why? It’s because high exposure to this chemical can cause the following.
- Birth Defects
- Reproductive issues
Do you prefer drinking plastic-bottled water? What about eating on fast-food chains? Why did I ask? It’s because their coatings may have BPA.
Your lips would be touching the plastic bottle, so there’s a chance of BPA ingestion. Some also lick the burger wrap because of the extra sauce.
But, before you panic, there’s no evidence yet that BPA can affect people when wearing or holding the item.
It even has a shallow potential of BPA food migration as well. Also, consider that you won’t bite or drink the coatings of your sunglasses. Still, California wants to remind the possible harms of accidental ingestion prop 65 chemicals.
What Makes BPA Harmful?
Some research shows that BPA can be harmful once it seeps into your food or beverages. For example, containers with this element can mix into your food without you even noticing it.
This exposure may compromise your health and affect children’s behavior. Aside from what we’ve mentioned, here are other problems with high exposure to BPA.
- Brain problems
- Prostate complications
- Increased blood pressure
But, it is not the case with sunglasses. Nobody eats it. Plus, manufacturers use a minimal amount of this element.
Thus, it won’t pose such a threat unless the producer used too much BPA. It may happen in sporadic cases, though.
It’s because high-grade eyewear manufacturers follow safety standards to comply with strict protocols. Otherwise, they won’t pass Either EU or FDA standards. European Union and Food and Drug Administration are responsible for regulating items in European and US countries.
Some countries may have banned BPA in items like kids’ bottles, but it has no same effects on sunglasses. Thus, it leads us to this next question.
Why Do Manufacturers Still Use Polycarbonate?
There are reasons why manufacturers use polycarbonate materials on sunglasses.
- High resistance
- 100% ultraviolet protection
- Lightweight and thin
Combine these features in one pair of sunnies. As a result, you’ll get durable and the ultimate protection against the sun.
With polycarbonate lenses, you can get more resistance from breaking. It’s true, especially if you have clumsy hands. Think of its lenses like those small red ants – tough but lightweight.
Compared to plastic or glass lenses, polycarbonate also has the highest UV safety.
Most of all, you can wear it without any hassle. You won’t have to worry about feeling heavy on your nose or around your ears.
Do you drop objects often? Polycarbonate ensures scratch-free features while correcting your vision.
See? Polycarbonate is not bad at all. California’s government wanted to inform its citizens about such chemicals. Prop 65 also gives them choices if the people would trust or use an item with BPA or not.
Is It Safe To Wear Sunglasses With BPA?
You have nothing to worry about wearing sunglasses with BPA.
First of all, you should note that polycarbonate lenses are inside the frame of the eyewear. It means that you will have no direct virtual contact with your face.
But, it may not be the case if you bought a pair of rimless frames as it will sit on your cheeks.
Second, sunnies with BPA have been common for decades. It has no proven or any direct correlation with compromising anyone’s health. There’s still not enough proof indicating how much exposure to BPA can you get from skin contact.
It becomes a problem if someone is in the habit of chewing or licking the plastic frames of the sunglasses. This problem is common for infants who are curious about things.
Aside from it’s an unhygienic habit, it’s when things can get at risk. Experts believe that most exposure to BPA happens through ingestion. So, any exposure through skin contact is insignificant.
Still, it is vital that you buy a pair of sunglasses only from reliable producers. Most experienced sunglasses makers only use minimal amounts of BPA.
Thus, polycarbonate eyewear is safe to wear. Manufacturers spent years of research on making each pair safe and efficient to use.
What Should You Do?
If you’re someone who wants to take ‘extra’ caution, then you can always look for BPA-free sunglasses. You can try titanium-based frames instead of plastic ones. Look for reputable optics shops that offer plenty of other options.
But, trust me, polycarbonate sunglasses won’t affect your health. It is still one of the most useful lenses when blocking UV rays and protecting your eyes. Always choose quality lenses and frames that only use premium materials.
Proposition 65 is a warning for Californians about significant amounts of chemicals. This caution provides awareness in making wise purchasing decisions.
But when it comes to sunglasses, know that chemicals, including BPA, are in meager amounts. You won’t be consuming it either, and skin contact is not a problem.
It’s always best to buy your sunnies that provide ease, safety, and unhampered vision.