How to spot fake solar eclipse viewing glasses

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – As the much anticipated solar eclipse gets closer, experts are reminding communities about the proper eyewear needed to safely view the rare event.

“Eclipse glasses are not the same as sunglasses, they’re more than 1,000 times darker than sunglasses,” said Susanna Kohler, Press Officer with the American Astronomical Society (AAS).

Ohio has $1 million reserved for solar eclipse safety costs, with millions more available

The AAS recently shared a warning about counterfeit or fake eclipse glasses. Kohler said most of the eclipse glasses out there are safe.

“Leading up to this solar eclipse initially the ones we were seeing, the ones that were counterfeit, still when we went and tested them were showing that they were safe so the vast majority of the glasses on the market are safe, it’s only in recent weeks we’ve seen a couple instances of ones that aren’t in fact safe,” she said.

The organization identifies counterfeit glasses as ones manufactured by one manufacturer, but printing the name of another manufacturer. It’s the ones deemed unsafe which AAS calls fake.

“Anybody can say their glasses are safe and print that standard on the glasses and we have unfortunately seen a few cases of glasses in the market that have that standard printed on them and are not in fact safe, they aren’t any darker than normal sunglasses,” Kohler said.

The standard she referred to is ISO 12312-2, which experts said should be on eclipse glasses.

Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, Director of the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), Thursday also discussed the necessity of proper eclipse glasses. A spokesperson for ODH said the department is not aware of any reports of fake or counterfeit eclipse glasses being sold or distributed in Ohio.

“It is very important that you are obtaining any eyewear that you’re going to use from a trusted source,” he said.

To see a list of places to get eclipse glasses, click here. As April 8 gets closer, it’s a good idea to check to make sure they are in stock. The AAS has more information on how to spot fake or counterfeit eclipse glasses here.

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