Unsure about buying eclipse glasses? Here are some purchasing tips

There have been reports of fake solar eclipse glasses being sold that don't filter the sun's rays

Amazon recalled hundreds of eclipse glasses
Photo Courtesy of KOIN

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – People are being warned that watching the solar eclipse on Aug. 21 without proper eclipse glasses can damage their eyes, but there have been massive recalls on some glasses for not guaranteeing protection.

To help people avoid buying unsafe or counterfeit glasses, Ohio General Attorney Mike DeWine offered consumer protection tips.

“Ohioans of all ages are intrigued by the upcoming solar eclipse, but safety needs to be a priority to avoid permanent eye damage,” he said in a press release.

Here are the attorney’s tips: 

  • Visit aas.org to find a reputable dealer. The AAS has a list available of all merchants and vendors that guarantee their glasses will block enough light during the eclipse event to prevent injury. All companies on this site sell products that have been certified safe by the authorities. 
  • Call your local library.  Over 2 million eclipse glasses were sent to local libraries for distribution and for eclipse viewing events. Call your local library to see if they have viewing events planned where glasses would be available, or click here to see if your library is a participating location.  
  • If you’ve already obtained solar eclipse glasses, test them prior to the eclipse.According to the AAS, you shouldn’t be able to see anything except the sun itself with proper solar eclipse glasses. Be extremely cautious if you can see other lights or normal brightness through the glasses, especially if you’re not sure they were obtained through a reputable merchant or vendor. Also, inspect your glasses for pinholes or tears prior to use.
  • Do not use homemade products or ordinary sunglasses. Simply using a pair of sunglasses or stacking multiple pairs of glasses on top of one another will not protect your eyes from the danger of looking at the sun. Regardless of how dark the shades, the AAS says they will “transmit many thousands of times too much sunlight.”
  • Do not use a solar filter without first seeking advice from an astronomer. You may want to attach a filter to the front of your camera, binoculars, or telescope, but get expert advice before using them to view the solar eclipse.

The American Astronomical Society also warns that it has received reports of fake solar eclipse glasses being sold that don’t filter the sun’s rays.

Even glasses those marked with an International Organization Standardization seal, which is usually considered safe, may be counterfeit.

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