Experts are urging Americans watching the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse to buy smart when purchasing the necessary protective eyewear.
With counterfeit eclipse glasses hitting the market, NASA and the American Astronomical Society (AAS) suggest that consumers purchase off their long list of verified products to ensure safe viewing.
Retired NASA astrophysicist and photographer Fred Espenak told ABC News that he has heard rumors of counterfeit glasses being sold online.
It is unclear if there are counterfeit glasses also being sold in stores or by street vendors.
“The only way you can be sure that they’re not fake glasses is to buy them from a reliable source,” Espenak said.
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 international safety standard.
“They’ve been put through a testing procedure to demonstrate that they’re dark enough to prevent visible as well as ultraviolet and infrared light from passing through it,” Espenak said. “They’ve gone through various laboratory testing in order to be certified for ISO testing. Filters have to be validated by the same standard.”
Unfortunately, some companies are placing an ISO label on their counterfeit glasses, which is why following the list of manufacturers is a surefire way to know you’re being safe, according to the AAS.
American Paper Optics is one of the manufacturers listed among the AAS’s 12 that meets the ISO standard.
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