The Great American Eclipse is coming up, and reports are coming in of people being scammed by fake eclipse glasses. That’s a big problem: if you buy, say, a counterfeit Kate Spade purse, you’re out a few hundred bucks. If you buy a fake pair of eclipse glasses, you’re out a buck or so. Oh, and you’ll go blind.
As you undoubtedly learned back in preschool, you should never, ever look directly at the sun. Not ever; even doing so for a fraction of a second could cause permanent eye damage, up to and including blindness. And even during an eclipse, when the moon is covering the sun’s disc, it’s not safe to look directly at the sun.
So, if you’re not in an area with 100% totality, and not a fraction of a percentage less (use this map to find out), you need proper glasses to watch the eclipse. And if you’re in an area with 100% totality, you still need proper glasses to watch the process of the moon covering the sun and then leaving (a process that takes a couple of hours or more).
According to Eclipse2017.org, you need ISO 12312-2:2015 glasses to safely watch the eclipse. That means your Ray-Bans won’t do. Neither will anything advertised as anything other than that series of letters and numbers.
Or, thanks to unscrupulous vendors who care about neither international copyright law nor your eyesight, what you think are eclipse-safe glasses may not actually be.
As WTSP (Tampa) reports, fake eclipse glasses are “flooding” the market. Any unscrupulous vendor can sell you glasses that they claim are eclipse-safe. They can even fraudulently print the fake ISO certification on the product (or on their website), even though what they’re selling could be something as flimsy as novelty 3-D glasses.
To make sure you’re not being scammed, and, you know, risking permanent damage to your eyes, NASA recommends you buy your eclipse glasses from one of the following vendors.
- American Paper Optics
- Baader Planetarium (AstroSolar Silver/Gold film only)
- Rainbow Symphony
- Thousand Oaks Optical
- TSE 17
Because the Inquisitr doesn’t link to retail websites as a matter of practice, we won’t link them here. Simply search for these vendors in your favorite search engine, and you’ll find retailers offering safe, reliable, approved glasses. Conversely, avoid buying eclipse glasses from places like Amazon or eBay, where you risk buying counterfeits.
If you prefer to do your shopping at brick-and-mortar retailers, says MLive, you can buy approved eclipse glasses at 7-Eleven, Best Buy, Kroger, Love’s Travel Stops, Lowe’s, Flying Js, Toys ‘R’ Us and Walmart, particularly in places in the path of totality.
[Featured Image by AlexLMX/Thinkstock]