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13 August 2017, 07:09 | Glen Norman
Total eclipse of the sun. Contributed by NASA
Even as makers of certified, safety-tested solar eye ware rushed to meet surging demand before the August 21 eclipse, they have joined astronomers and optometrists in warning of defective knockoffs flooding the USA market. "It's not coming from the retailer, it's coming from Amazon because they can't verify that that manufacturer has that certification'". Both said Amazon will be reimbursing them for their purchase.
"The only way you can be sure that they're not fake glasses is to buy them from a reliable source", Espenak said.
But the Amazon listing didn't actually sayAmerican Paper Optics manufactured the lenses; it just showed up with the Tennessee-based company's stamp on it.
It will also be the first total solar eclipse visible from any of the Lower 48 states since 1979.
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"Safety is among our highest priorities".
Retired NASA astrophysicist and photographer Fred Espenak told ABC News that he has heard rumors of counterfeit glasses being sold online.
The Cedar Hill Fire Protection District posted the announcement to its Facebook page alerting the community that they should not use the glasses the departments handed out. A Kansas woman told station KWCH 12 she bought 500 solar eclipse glasses for kids at a local school - which turned out to be fake.
While a last-minute rush has left many dealers out of stock two weeks before the big day, the good news is that US astronomy buffs have to wait only seven more years for the next total solar eclipse over North America, in April 2024.
Any filter less opaque than that may cause severe eye damage that would not become evident until hours later, Chou warned. The protective gear you use should be verified by an accredited testing laboratory and must have the ISO 12312-2 certification, NASA says.
Special eyeglasses made with proper solar filters allow viewers to safely gaze at the sun any time for unlimited duration, the AAS said.
Don't try looking at the eclipse with normal sunglasses or home-made filters either.
Some McDonald's locations outside of OR - including Missouri and Washington - are also selling eclipse glasses.
"Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the Sun", says the American Astronomical Society, "they transmit thousands of times too much sunlight". We recommend that you DO NOT use this product to view the sun or the eclipse.
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