Amazon is refunding purchases of unverifiable eclipse eyewear

Claudine Rigal
Août 13, 2017

Officials warn that while watching the eclipse it is pivotal to have proper eye protection.

"Amazon has not received confirmation from the supplier of your order that they sourced the item from a recommended manufacturer", Amazon said in the email. You might want to check with Amazon if they're fake.

Espenak recommends that people stick to the AAS's approved list of 12 companies that manufacture and/or sell eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers, which have been verified by an accredited testing laboratory to meet the ISO 12312-2 worldwide safety standard.

If you received this email from Amazon, there are other places to purchase eclipse glasses. In the email, Amazon said the supplier could not confirm if the item came from a recommended manufacturer.

It will also be the first total solar eclipse visible from any of the Lower 48 states since 1979.

"Safety is among our highest priorities", an Amazon spokesperson told TechCrunch about the matter.

Retired NASA astrophysicist and photographer Fred Espenak told ABC News that he has heard rumors of counterfeit glasses being sold online.

Those who are concerned about solar eclipse glasses they bought on Amazon can reach out to customer service.

While no data exists for how many made-for-eclipse eyeglasses are in circulation overall, shady distributors of purportedly solar-safe shades abound on the Internet, Fienberg said.

While a last-minute rush has left many dealers out of stock two weeks before the big day, the good news is that USA astronomy buffs have to wait only seven more years for the next total solar eclipse over North America, in April 2024.

Although there is a shortage of glasses, Dr. Russell Van Gelder with the UW/American Academy of Ophthalmology says looking at the event without glasses can cause serious damage to your eyes. The ones I bought have all the right words printed on them: "meets the Transmission Requirements of ISO 12312-2" they say, before going on to list a slew of other standards allegedly met.

Don't try looking at the eclipse with normal sunglasses or home-made filters either. You could also check out 7-Eleven, Toys "R" Us and Walmart, since some locations might carry solar 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".

You can find the AAS's full instructions on how to safely view the solar eclipse here. Then at the end: " American Paper Optics". "My phone keeps ringing" with companies asking for the NASA stamp of approval, he says.

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