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Living in a Fog
Fogged up glasses can surely incite personal rage issues, and in turn can also be very dangerous. In the workplace, walking in a fog can lead you into obstacles, trip hazards, or directly into the path of oncoming traffic. Alternatively, taking off your glasses to wipe them immediately exposes your eyes to dangers like flying debris and debilitating impact hazards. I personally had a small stone hit my glass lens while lawn mowing last summer and believe me -- I refuse to mow my lawn without using anti-fog safety glasses ever since.
So what causes fogging? Hot & humid conditions will do it or going from an inside to outside environment. Performing demanding, sweaty work can fog up your glasses, or how about WEARING A MASK? That will certainly fog up your lenses. Long story short, when warm air meets a cool surface, condensation can form. When warm breath escapes the top of a mask to your glasses, this can fog your lenses in a hurry.
So what can you do to prevent fogging? First off you can get yourself glasses with anti-fog coating on the lenses. Most safety glass manufacturers offer it, and they all argue about who’s anti-fog coating works better. If you ask nicely, any Verona Safety representative can lead you to the right choice here. Anti-fog treatments were first developed by NASA during Project Gemini. When moisture droplets land on an uncoated lens, they bead up and form condensation/fogging. Anti-Fog coating works by minimizing surface tension, resulting in a non-scattering film of water instead of single droplets. SCIENCE!!!
If you don’t have anti-fog glasses, you can try the soap trick -- simply wash your lenses with soapy water and shake off the excess liquid. You can allow your lenses to air dry or gently wipe them off with a soft cloth before wearing your glasses again. The soap leaves behind a thin film that acts as a fog barrier. Odds are this method will not hold up as long as traditional anti-fog coating, but in a pinch it’s worth a shot.
WHEN WEARING A MASK – make sure the mask is fit properly. Also, it can help to seat your glasses on top of the mask, pulling the mask higher on the bridge of your nose and using your glasses to seal the material better to your face. This secure seal will keep warm air from escaping the top of your mask. You could also tape down your mask to your skin using medical tape… but DON’T use duct tape!
Hopefully these tips will help you see things more clearly, and I’m sure you weren’t “blinded by the science” behind it. This has been Sam’s Safety Minute, keep your head on a swivel out there!!
- Samie Lee Gossfeld, EH&S Man