PIQUA — Online retailer Amazon.com has notified the Piqua Public Library that Solar Eclipse Viewing Glasses that were purchased through them may have been counterfeit and not certified as safe for use. The library distributed 80 pairs of these glasses on the morning of Aug. 7.
Patrons are asked to discard any glasses received at the library.
Library Director James Oda explained, “If you received a pair of eclipse glasses from the library, we are asking you not to use them, for your own safety. The sun’s rays are powerful enough to burn your retina permanently. Think of the after-image from looking at a light bulb, but multiplied by thousands of times.”
Oda continued, saying, “Back in May, we began to receive a number of calls about the availability of solar eclipse glasses. Many libraries across the state were giving out free glasses to their patrons. We decided that this would be a project that we could do that would benefit the community.” He went on to say, “The library purchased the glasses from Amazon in July. By then, rumors had begun to surface about counterfeit glasses, but ours were clearly labeled and sold as CE and ISO 12312-2 certified for safe viewing. They were not one of the brands listed as dangerous, or so we were told – and yet here we are, a month later, receiving word that Amazon has not been able to verify the manufacturer’s certifications.”
Without a manufacturer’s safety certification, there is no guarantee that the glasses that were given out by the library will protect your eyesight while watching the eclipse.
A recent article on the NASA.gov site suggests that:
Eclipse viewing glasses and hand-held solar viewers should meet all of the following criteria:
• Have certification information with a designated ISO 12312-2 international standard
• Have the manufacturer’s name and address printed somewhere on the product
• Not be used if they are older than three years, or have scratched or wrinkled lenses
• Not use homemade filters
• Ordinary sunglasses — even very dark ones — should not be used as a replacement for eclipse viewing glasses or hand-held solar viewers
“We did our very best to make sure our glasses met all of these qualifications, but unfortunately the manufacturer let us down, with a counterfeit product,” said Oda.