What is UV400 Protection and why do you need it?

UV400 is becoming an increasingly common feature of eyewear designed for the outdoors but what is it and why does it matter? Clair Weston, head of marketing at uvex explains more.

When it comes to protecting our eyes from the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation, not all eyewear is created equal. The EN166/170 standard specifies that safety eyewear should provide UV protection up to 380 nm. However, recent recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the latest scientific studies suggest that this level of protection is insufficient. They advocate for safety eyewear lenses to provide UV protection up to 400 nm, encompassing both UVB and UVA rays. 

Why UV400 protection is essential

UV radiation poses a significant risk to eye health, even on cloudy days. Long-term exposure to UV rays can lead to severe eye conditions such as corneal injuries, cataracts, and even loss of sight. The WHO’s updated guidelines underline the necessity of blocking UV rays up to 400 nm to mitigate these risks effectively, particularly for those who spend long periods of time working outdoors.  

Key reasons for UV400 protection: 

1.   Complete UVB and UVA Coverage: UV400 protection ensures that all harmful UVB and UVA rays are blocked. At 380 nm, 20% of damaging UVA rays still penetrate the lenses, posing a threat to your eyes and surrounding skin. UV400 eliminates this risk, providing 100% coverage. 

2.   Minimised thermal impact: UV radiation in the 380-400 nm range has a thermal impact on eye cells, which is 10 times greater than at lower wavelengths. This can damage and alter cell structures, leading to long-term eye problems. 

3.   Reduction of aggressive blue light: UV400 protection reduces the content of high-energy visible (HEV) blue light, which is harmful to the retina, by 15%. This not only protects your eyes but also reduces eye strain and discomfort. 

The benefits of choosing UV400 eyewear

uvex has always stood for maximum protection against UV radiation —UltraViolet EXcluded is not only in our name, but also a priority in our range. We are therefore a strong advocate of advanced eyewear technology that ensures optimum protection against UV radiation and we are dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of investing in the most effective protection. Our commitment to eye safety is evident in our UV400 technology, which is a standard feature in all uvex safety eyewear.

Features of uvex UV400 eyewear: 

•      100% UV protection: Regardless of whether the lenses are clear or tinted, uvex UV400 comes as standard across its eyewear range, with the exception of a small number of acetate lenses, and filters 100% of UV rays up to 400 nm, ensuring complete protection against harmful radiation. 

•      Protection beyond the eyes: UV400 lenses also protect the skin around the eyes from dangerous UV exposure, reducing the risk of skin damage and long-term health issues. 

•      Enhanced comfort and style: uvex combines top-quality lens coatings with incredible comfort and stylish designs, making their eyewear suitable for various environments and preferences. 

Choosing the right lens

As well as looking for UV400 protection when sourcing eyewear its important to consider what is the most appropriate lens. Here are some examples of lens options tailored to different lighting conditions and environments: 

•      Clear lenses: Ideal for most light environments, providing versatile protection without altering your vision. 

•      Grey sunglare lenses: Perfect for bright sunlight and glare, ensuring clear vision without strain. uvex eyewear with grey lenses conform to EN172 (sunglare filters for industrial use) 

•      Amber lenses: Enhance light in low-light and artificial light conditions, making them great for indoor and overcast settings. 

•      uvex CBR65 lenses: The light tint to these lenses enhance contrast and reduce blue light by up to 50% at 450 nm, making them suitable for indoor work under bright, artificial light conditions, blue light emitting devices and environments where precision and concentration is key. Conforms to EN172 (sunglare filters for industrial use) 

•      uvex CBR23 lenses: These lenses with brown tint is suitable for outdoor work. The lens enhances contrast and reduces blue light by up to 95% at 450 nm in extremely bright and sunny workplaces helping to reduce eye fatigue, supporting increased levels of concentration and comfort. Conforms to EN172 (sunglare filters for industrial use)


UV400 protection in eyewear is essential for outdoor workers, providing comprehensive defense against harmful UVB and UVA rays up to 400 nm. Just as people now understand the importance of choosing a high SPF sunscreen with a high star rating* for better skin protection, they should also seek maximum protection for their eyes and look for a manufacturer who is committed to integrating UV400 technology in their safety eyewear to ensure workers receive the highest level of protection. 

*Ranging from 0 to 5, a star rating indicates the percentage of UVA radiation that’s absorbed by that particular sun protection, compared to UVB. The higher the star rating, the better the protection against UVA rays. Source: Boots.com