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The National Health and Medical Research Council

does not believe American reports about intense light welding

contact lenses to corneas.

The Council was told at its 97th Session in Sydney

today that claims about two metal industry workers whose contact

lenses were fused to their corneas after exposure to arc flash

appeared in a safety alert bulletin issued in the U.S.A. early

in 1983. These claims subsequently were proved false.

The NH & MRC noted that the U.S. Society for the

Prevention of Blindness had stated that this was a physical


The Council stated as well that it agreed with a

U.K. Health and Safety Executive Bulletin of 1977 which said

there was no reason to fear that wearing contact lenses under

safety spectacles presented an extra hazard.

The point was made, however, that contact lenses

should not be relied upon as an alternative to safety spectacles.

Sydney 7 June 1984.