timstar-logo

How to Sanitise your Eyewear

Including CLEAPSS guidelines…

01/09/2020

Hygiene has always been an essential part of delivering practical science in educational settings. The unprecedented situation that teachers and technicians now find themselves in, means that these measures are more important than ever.

The current government guidelines will significantly limit the amount of practical activity that can take place whilst adhering to DfE guidance.

Group of children (9-12) watching experiment in school laboratory

CLEAPSS guidelines state:

The guidance from the DfE requires that any equipment being transferred between bubbles is either cleaned (‘meticulously’) or quarantined for up to 72 hours.

“Resources that are shared between classes or bubbles, such as sports, art and science equipment should be cleaned frequently and meticulously and always between bubbles, or rotated to allow them to be left unused and out of reach for a period of 48 hours (72 hours for plastics) between use by different bubbles”

To increase the availability of equipment and efficiently utilise resources, it may be helpful to set aside time during the school day, when no new practical is planned and when ‘meticulous’ cleaning of key items, such as plastic eyewear can take place.

A specific room or prep room space could be set aside as a cleaning base.

Meticulous Cleaning

CLEAPSS believes that the following advice is sensible when trying to achieve meticulous cleaning.

‘Meticulous cleaning’ does not mean sterilise. CLEAPSS believes that careful and thorough cleaning that includes the use of an appropriate disinfectant is the intended meaning.

Cleaning plastic eyewear can be achieved with immersion in a solution of disinfectants, such as Milton or similar products, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Teens using chemistry set during high school science experiement

CLEAPSS TIP: Approx 15L of the solution is needed to immerse 30 safety glasses in a 24L stackable storage box with a lid.

For the disinfectant to work it needs to be in contact with the surface for the time specified on the product, typically between 10 and 20 minutes. This requirement can often be overlooked, and equipment not left for long enough.

CLEAPSS TIP: Keep immersion to the minimum specified time as some eye protection can deteriorate after repeated, prolonged immersion.

If eyewear has become dirty during a practical, they will need to be cleaned before they can be disinfected as surface dirt and grease will prevent the disinfectant from working. Plastic eyewear can be washed by hand in hot soapy water, then air-drying or drying with a soft cloth, which is then laundered.

Eye protection should be selected according to the degree of protection required.

Eye protectors are marked as follows:

Optical Class BS EN 166 Markings
Class 1 (High optical quality) 1
Class 2 (Medium optical quality) 2
Class 3 (Low optical quality) 3
Mechanical Strength BS EN 166 Markings
Increased robustness (12m/s) S
Low energy impact (45m/s) F
Medium energy impact (120m/s) B
High energy impact A
Increased robustness (General purpose impact at extremes of temperature) T
Field of use BS EN 166 Markings
Liquid droplets / splashes 3
Large dust particles 4
Gas / Fine dust particles 5
Short circuit electric arc 8
Molten metal / Hot solids 9
Resistance to misting / fogging N
Resistance to surface damage K

Additional European Standards to look out for: EN 170 Ultra-violet filters

Want to share this content?