Q: What does polarization mean? What does protection from ultraviolet rays mean? What's the difference, and why are these factors important for sailors to consider?
A: Polarization filters visible light so we have less reflected glare and feel visually more comfortable, whereas protection from invisible ultraviolet light is important to keep our eyes safe from high-energy radiation. In polarization, a membrane blocks light reflected from a horizontal surface, such as water, sand, or snow. Fundamentally, ultraviolet protection is important to sailors because we're in the sun a lot, and the high energy of ultraviolet radiation can cause damage to our skin and eyes. Children are subject to the same hazards as adults and should have their eyes protected as well.