Ophthalmic Testing Services at NSL Analytical - Stacks of Lenses Being Tested

In 2004, The Vision Council (TVC) approached NSL Analytical with a testing project focused on Titanium (Ti) content in ophthalmic frames. NSL had not yet participated in the optical industry; but was chosen due to the analytical nature of our business.

Analytical Ophthalmic Testing Services

The word “analytical” refers to the study of the separation, identification and quantification of chemical components – both natural and artificial materials. As a commercial testing laboratory, this is the core strength of NSL Analytical. We can identify differing chemicals or elements in samples and determine the amount of such components in a given substance – down to parts/billion when applicable. So TVC’s project on Ti content was the perfect opportunity for NSL to demonstrate the scientific/analytical nature of our business.

In 2008, TVC decided to take the next step by designating a particular scientific laboratory as “The Vision Council’s Preferred Testing Laboratory.” After a vetting process that included several competitors, TVC landed upon NSL Analytical. Almost immediately, NSL was directed toward lens testing – so we began acquiring the appropriate testing equipment and the knowledge needed to serve TVC Members on a regular basis.

NSL’s Lens Advisory Board

In September 2009 the industry came together at NSL in Cleveland for what we termed our “Lens Advisory Board” (LAB). The purpose of that meeting was to begin bonding with the ophthalmic scientific community through the evaluation of current lens tests and to begin thinking about what new testing we might bring to the table – our “mandate” from The Vision Council. NSL was specifically encouraged to review ISO 8980-4 and 8980-5 as those two tests offered international acceptance and would be good starting points as we looked at scratch resistance and AR Coating performance. At the end of the 2-day event, NSL Analytical began walking down the path toward new test development with the promise of continuing scientific review from our LAB participants.

Ophthalmic Testing Expertise

Since that time, NSL has tested thousands of lenses. Objectivity and repeatability are the primary concerns in new test development, so we performed the same tests over and over again, making precise adjustments to be certain that the methodology was in keeping with our ISO 17025 accreditation. Throughout, NSL reported to and sought valuable input from our LAB participants. Then finally, after nearly 5 years of work, the Enhanced Simulated Wear Test (ESWT) was born – read more about it here.

Ophthalmic Regulations

On the Eyewear & Accessories/Sunglasses & Readers sides of the industry, NSL brings our knowledge of federal and state regulations to the table. Any and all ophthalmic products (including lenses) sold in the State of California are subject to Proposition 65 while CPSIA is a primary concern for those who distribute cases and optical accessories to children. FDA regulations (UV & Impact) come into play with imported products. When the industry concern is regulatory, NSL is here to help.

Contact Us to Learn More

As NSL Analytical continues to build relationships and serve TVC members, we hope to have the opportunity to meet with you. Please look for us at an upcoming Vision Expo East or Vision Expo West we are a participating exhibitor, every year. Or if you simply want further information on our Technical Services and Consulting capabilities, please complete an online information request.