What are Leaded Glasses?
Leaded glasses, or radiation glasses, protect your eyes from the harmful effects of radiation. Since our eyes are one of the most radiation-sensitive areas on our bodies, they must be protected whenever you’re operating, or around the operation, of machines such as: Radiographs, Fluoroscopes, X-rays, Irradiators, Electronic Microscopes, and Particle Accelerators. This is why many brands, like Phillips, specialize in making high-quality leaded prescription safety glasses for fit-over and wraparound styles.
As the years have gone by, new types of radiation equipment have been developed that are stronger than ever before. As technology keeps advancing, safety glasses have to change to remain as protective as ever. Ophthalmologists and researchers stay up to date, creating leaded glasses for ever-improving devices.
In 2020, all prescription and non-prescription leaded glasses must have CE1020 approval. In order to have this certification, leaded glasses have to be equipped with high quality .75mm lead equivalency lenses. If a pair has side shields, they must have .5mm Pb lead equivalency as well.
These requirements are necessary for radiation glasses, but other qualities like comfort, fit, and style are also a factor when shopping for safety glasses.
What to Look For
If you are shopping for radiation protective eyewear, there are some important qualities that you should look for. You want them to be adjustable and comfortable in order to avoid unnecessary drops, which can damage the frame or cause scratches on your lenses. Look for frames that are built from a strong material, such as durable nylon, and which fit your head size correctly. Remember, not all leaded glasses fit every head shape. Most frames are built to fit different sizes.
You’ll also want your pair to be as lightweight as possible, because of how long you’ll be wearing them. Most users need to wear leaded glasses for long periods of time, so if you feel pressure under your eyes, on your cheek, or other noticeable pressure from your glasses, they may be too heavy for extended use. If your glasses also fall down your nose when you look down, that can be a sign that your glasses don’t fit well and are too heavy for your face.
Most importantly, you want to see clearly when you are operating any equipment that emits radiation, for your safety and the safety of anyone around you. If you are looking for prescription leaded glasses, not all types can be made in your prescription. Any pairs that you like that cannot be made in your prescription may be able to fit over existing eyewear, so make sure to check. Most models can fit over a variety of glasses, but there are some that are better for it than others, like the Phillips RG-33. For radiation glasses that can be made in your prescription, you have the option of single vision, bifocal, or progressive lenses. You might also want wraparound tech for added protection such as side shields. For some models, you can also add popular features like foamed temples, for comfort, or anti-fog technology, for clearer vision.
Below, we have put together a list (in no specific order) of the top leaded safety glasses of 2020. All of these models include our distortion-free SF-6 Schott Glass radiation-reducing lenses with .75mm lead equivalency and are CE certified.
Top Leaded Glasses
- Phillips RG-33: One of the better fit-over and cost-friendly models on our list, the Phillips RG-33 fit very well for most head sizes. They tend to be a little on the bulkier side, but this just means that they fit over a more varied set of prescription eyewear. You can expect this pair to be incredibly sturdy for its lightweight design and comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
- RG-15011-BKC: If you are looking for style with your safety, the RG-15011-BKC is a great option. This sleek, rectangular frame provides a clean look, but with bold lines that look good on any face shape. With its wide design, it fits best on medium to large heads. Not only will the RG-15011-BKC look good on you, but it can also protect your eyes from radiation from almost any angle as they are equipped with built-in, permanent side shields for added protection.
- Phillips RG-Q100: The RG-Q100 model is another stylish model on our list that fits the most smaller head sizes. The RG-Q100 features a more rounded shape, also with built-in sides shields. It’s great for people who require improved peripheral vision in their leaded glasses, as this model’s design allows for a wider range of view than other options.
- Wiley-X Tide: Wiley-X Tide, just like their high-quality goggles, comes with seamless hinges for durability, and a removable facial cavity seal to protect your eyes against wind, dust, splashes, and debris. Most models on our list do not include the same facial cavity technology as the Tide does, making it a unique contender. Many dentists and hospital workers prefer this model for how well it blocks flying debris that occurs during their work.
- Nike Flip: The Nike Flip is one of Nike’s offerings to the leaded glasses market. It features a sleek, translucent frame design that makes them appear like an ordinary pair of glasses. Don’t let that trick you. These are high-quality, durable leaded safety glasses that can be used for a variety of radiation equipment. They fit comfortably to most head sizes for long periods, and their stopper hinges prevent decompressing over long periods of wear.
- Phillips F126: The range of vision on the Phillips F126 is greater than many competing models on our list as the lenses are significantly taller and wider. Many glass working artists prefer this pair because of the excellent color recognition they get from the larger range of vision it gives. With its stylish industrial design, this pair fits very well for most larger head sizes and features side shields for that added bit of protection.
- Nike Brazen: The Nike Brazen is great for professionals in the medical field thanks to it’s incredible balance. While a little heavier than other leaded glasses, the Brazen will sit snuggly on your face and is comfortable to wear for long periods of time. This is why professionals doing delicate, time-consuming work, such as surgeons, prefer the Brazen. The ventilated nose bridge helps prevent fog build-up inside the frame, providing superior vision throughout the day, no matter how humid your work environment is.
- Phillips RG-Q200: Similar to the Q100, the Q200 is a lightweight, wraparound frame, that features removable leaded side shields for added eye protection. They fit very well on most head shapes as the frame material is flexible, but still durable. For added comfort, the rubber-coated temple bars sit comfortably against your head, and the saddle bridge nose pad provides slip resistance from sweat.
- Phillips RG- J136: The J136 is another great option for surgeons with medium to large head sizes. Similar to the Nike Brazen, the J136 is a well-balanced frame that makes for a comfortable fit throughout the day. This model comes with an adjustable nose piece and are one of few frames on our list that can be made with prescription lenses, providing a clear view of your work.
- Nike Premier: Similar in style to the Nike Flip, the Premier comes in an assortment of solid colors; colors like matte tortoise, matte anthracite, matte black, cool grey/wolf grey, light bone, black/silver, dark grey. This model features an inlay nose pad that provides extra grip to your nose and face. Because of how the temples are slimmed down, this model can retain a strong grip on most head sizes.
Buying your Next Pair
Choosing a pair of Leaded Glasses can be a daunting prospect with many parameters to keep in mind. We hope that our list helped you in making your selection and provided you with the information that you need to stay safe in your work. You can find any of these frames at www.Phillips-Safety.com, in our catalog, along with our full selection of Radiation Glasses and safety products. For any questions about picking the right pair for you, or determining the best fit for your needs, please reach out to one of Customer Service Specialists who can provide you with the best and most up-to-date information possible.