The Great American Eclipse is about to arrive. Skywatchers across the US are scooping up eclipse glasses in droves, making them hard to track down in some places. But eclipse chasers should be cautious about where they get their glasses.
Amid reports that unsafe glasses are being sold, Amazon has issued a recall on some eclipse glasses from unverified manufacturers. The protective glasses the company emailed customers about may not provide the necessary eye protection required for viewing the eclipse.
Amazon began contacting customers and issuing refunds Saturday, suggesting customers use glasses from companies on the American Astronomical Society's list of reputable vendors. (In case it isn't clear, staring at the sun without protection during an eclipse is a horrible idea.) "We recommend that you DO NOT use this product to view the sun or the eclipse," the email warned customers.
If you purchased eclipse glasses via Amazon and didn't receive an email, your glasses are likely okay.
"Safety is among our highest priorities," Amazon told the Oregon-based KGW. "Out of an abundance of caution, we have proactively reached out to customers and provided refunds for eclipse glasses that may not comply with industry standards. We want customers to buy with confidence anytime they make a purchase on Amazon.com and eclipse glasses sold on Amazon.com are required to comply with the relevant ISO standard."
MASCOTKING, who has had glasses removed from Amazon, told Verge it is "submitting to NASA and Amazon" and will refund any customer who is "dissatisfied." Similar statements have come from other brands that are defending their glasses despite being pulled from Amazon.
The AAS says their list is not all-inclusive, so brands that aren't listed could be fine. “If we don’t list a supplier, that doesn’t mean their products are unsafe,” AAS press officer Rick Fienberg said. “It just means that we have no knowledge of them or that we haven’t convinced ourselves they’re safe.”