You’ve likely heard of the historic solar eclipse happening tomorrow, whether from acquaintances or local news channels. Many eclipse discussions happening in the last few weeks centered on safety during the event itself. Not only will roadways be dangerous through this time due to darker environments and distracted drivers, but viewing the event itself can be dangerous if proper precautions aren’t taken. Special “eclipse sunglasses” should be worn by all onlookers, as staring directly into the sun can cause severe damage to optic nerves. A 70-year old Oregon was featured in the news recently urging viewers to use proper glasses when viewing. In 1962, he stared directly into a partial eclipse, which caused him to go partially blind in his right eye. So while the spectacle should be enjoyable, it should also be approached with caution and safety protocols followed.
Fortunately, many people have listened to these warnings and purchased eclipse glasses from retailers online and physical locations. Unfortunately, the online retail manufacturing giant Amazon has issued a recall for many eclipse sunglasses sold on their digital marketplace. The reason is that the company could not confirm whether the glasses were made by the recommended manufacturer. In response to the recall, Amazon has been emailing customers to caution them.
Due to the high demand of eclipse glasses in preparation for Monday’s viewing, some companies manufactured glasses that don’t provide proper safety from the eclipse and sun in an effort to make extra profit. Because Amazon has not received the official confirmation from their supplier that the glasses were from the recommended manufacturer, they are urging anyone who has purchased the glasses to not use them. However, Amazon isn’t able to list specific brands included in the recall.
The Coweta County School System in metro-Atlanta purchased 24,000 pairs of sunglasses from Amazon and was among the customers to be contacted by Amazon because the glasses could not be verified. The order was cancelled and a refund provided, but they weren’t able to find substitutes because the event is so soon.
We strongly encourage anyone planning to watch the eclipse to take proper safety precautions and wear appropriate safety sunglasses.