EUROM 1 calls for action concerning social and economic impact of impaired vision

The European Federation of Optical industries has held its annual General Assembly in the nice town of Stein am Rhein

EUROM 1, the European Federation of Optical industries, which gathers 7 national associations of manufacturers - France, Italy, Germany, UK, Spain, Greece and Switzerland – has held its annual General Assembly in the nice town of Stein am Rhein (Switzerland).


This year EUROM 1 focused its work on social and economic costs of impaired vision:


-5 Million people every year go blind because of cataract. Cost of cataract surgery for the health systems in the various countries is estimated worth 6.8 Billion $. A considerable share of cases is due to non-protected exposure to U.V.rays.


-280 Million drivers in the world have impaired vision, with heavy consequences on car accidents (cost of car accidents in Italy : 2 % of GDP)


-1.100 Million people in the world (33 % of workers) have impaired vision, and this causes a loss of productivity of 269 billion US $


-300 Million people (37 % of elderly people above 65 years) suffer from impaired vision


These very impressive figures have been introduced as the starting point for discussion on possible common actions.


EUROMCONTACT, the European Contact Lens and Lens Care Industry Association, ECOO, the European Council of Optometry and Optics, and ESA, the European Sunglass Association, have joined the meeting and the project of a European Vision Council has been approved and put in motion.


A meeting will be held by the beginning of October in order to determine a common European action.
The Vision Council, the organization which represents the interest of the optical industry in the USA, was also present and has given its full support to the EVC project.


In his speech President Vittorio Tabacchi thanked all the European organizations for their contribution to a common project and mentioned the necessity to act urgently, given the huge impact of impaired vision on social life and the high costs for the States. He also commented that the European market, in spite of still growing markets as France and Germany, is suffering .This was confirmed by the different country members and GFK, which introduced interesting figures on European spectacles and sunglasses market.


At the end of the meeting, President Tabacchi e General Manager de Limé expressed their hope that EVC will represent a crucial milestone in the mission of promoting good vision in Europe.