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Biomed Eng Online. 2014 Apr 25;13:45. doi: 10.1186/1475-925X-13-45.

Self-service kiosk for testing sunglasses.

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Department of Electrical Engineering, Escola de Engenharia de Sao Carlos - University of Sao Paulo/Av, Trabalhador Saocarlense 400, 13566-590, Sao Carlos, SP, Brasil.



Sunglasses users may only be assured on their ultraviolet protection by purchasing certified products, however they are not able to check if sunglasses are still ultraviolet (UV) protected as they age, unless they resort themselves to a professional who is qualified for using a spectrophotometer and is acknowledged on the standards for providing a report for the user. Current literature establishes safe limits on the exposure of the eyes relatively to the ultraviolet radiation exposure for the UVA and UVB ranges (280 nm - 400 nm). The UV protection is category dependent. Sunglasses are categorized from 0 to 4 and the categories are determined by the lenses transmission's percentage on the visible range (380 nm - 780 nm).


In order to overcome inaccessibility of such measurements on sunglasses, a prototype for testing ultraviolet protection on sunglasses, according to Brazilian Standards, has been developed for amateur use. The system consists of assembling UVA and UVB light sources and two UV responsive photodiode sensors, with Erythema action response for measuring UV protection; for categories measurements, combination of white light and LEDs were used for the visible range, as well as a light sensor having spectral response similar to the human eye. Electronics has been developed for controlling the measurements and software has been implemented for providing the report as well as for the user's interface.


All the system was embedded as a self-service touch screen kiosk and provides transmittance measurements that are within the deviation limit required by NBR15111, i.e., 0.25%. Measurements were performed in over 45 sunglasses and compared to CARY 5000 - VARIAN spectrophotometer and present a good correlation for the measurements of transmittance in the visible spectral range (r2 = 0.9999) and in the ultraviolet range (r2 = 0.9997).


The prototype identifies the UV protection, for non-corrective sunglasses, according to category of the lens and is available for the public. In addition to educating the population about the importance of wearing protected sunglasses, the prototype has also allowed the public to have access to information about the quality of protection of their own sunglasses in an easy and free testing method.

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