In the early 1990s I attended a conference called the Polycarbonate Forum. It was organized by the late Joe Bruneni, lens expert and optical historian.

At the time, most optical people thought poly was a material only for safety lenses. But Joe saw poly’s potential. He created the Forum as a way to promote its use as a mainstream lens material.

At the Forum, a panel of industry experts spoke about the technical, legal and dispensing issues concerning poly. The one who stood out most in my mind was the late Ralph Drew. An authority on ophthalmic optics, Drew spoke eloquently in his delightful British accent about “the myth of Abbe.” He asserted that concerns about Abbe value—a measure of the color fringe surrounding light sources that is visible in poly and other high-index lenses—are often overrated, particularly in lower powered lenses.

Mike DiSanto’s excellent cover story makes the same point. His entertaining, common sense explanation of Abbe value and its significance when dispensing polycarbonate and other high-index lenses is a must-read, as is his CE article, “Casting Call.”
As many L&T readers know, Mike is a respected writer and teacher who has dedicated much of his life to improving our understanding of optics and dispensing. I recently learned he is suffering from Stage IV pancreatic cancer. Although Mike’s attitude is positive, he is self-employed and without health insurance. He will be suffering a major loss of income while he fights for his life. A fund has been established to help him pay for medical and critical living expenses. Contributions can be made to: Michael DiSanto Fund, c/o Opticians Association of Ohio, 1100-H Brandywine Blvd., Zanesville Ohio, 43701-7303. Checks should be made payable to: Opticians Association of Ohio; the memo on the check should state: Michael DiSanto Fund.

—Andrew Karp