Cheap sunnies work just as well

SOME cheap sunnies are just as good at protecting eyes from ultraviolet light as their more pricey counterparts.

Consumer NZ tested 60 sunglasses, ranging from $2 to $270, and found 48 met the Australia and New Zealand Standard for Sunglasses and Fashion Spectacles.

Twenty-two of those were $20 or cheaper. Those that met the standard were also found to be robust and covered eyes properly.

Consumer NZ chief executive Sue Chetwin wasn't surprised.

"If you can find cheaper ones that look like something the Kardashians might wear you're set. These products provided good eye protection and met the requirements for sunglass construction so you should get reasonable wear out of them."

However, 12 of the sunglasses tested did not meet the standard that is mandatory in Australia but voluntary in New Zealand.

Half of the failed sunglasses were bought at discount stores.

Some failures could harm those wearing them.

A $10 pair of women's sunglasses had one lens visibly darker than the other, which could cause the wearer to misjudge the distance of moving objects. A $2 pair of men's glasses bought at a discount store also had one lens darker than the other, and didn't meet UVB protection requirements.

A brand of kids' Dora the Explorer sunglasses has been taken off the shelves because they don't do enough to block the glare of the sun.

Nickelodeon Dora the Explorer SUDO74157, were among those that failed the Consumer NZ tests.

The distributor, Pegasus Group said it would remove the product from shelves and do additional tests. Director Kieran Harrison said the sunglasses had been mislabelled.

A list of all sunglasses tested can be found at www.consumer.org.nz



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