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BBB Trends: Eyes to the skies safety means you have to protect your eyes with right Eclipse glasses

Sky-gazers across the country will watch in awe as the moon silently covers the sun Monday, August 21. Although two to five solar eclipses occur each on average, a total solar eclipse happens just once every 18 months. If you’re planning to watch, do so safely with the right eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewers and the kind that actually protects your eyes.

Start by making sure that the glasses or viewers you’re considering have the manufacturer’s name and address printed somewhere on the product, and are certified as safe.

The certification means the glasses and solar viewers meet international safety standard ISO 12312-2 and are safe for your eyes. Anything that doesn’t have this designation on it probably will not protect your vision as effectively and may cause injury.

According to the American Astronomical Society, to date, only five manufacturers meet the standard for this certification. They are American Paper Optics, Baader Planetarium (AstroSolar Silver/Gold film only), Rainbow Symphony, Thousand Oaks Optical and TSE 17.

Safety first!

It’s important to make sure your glasses or viewers are new because glasses that are more than 3 years old, wrinkled or scratched, won’t protect your eyes. Read and follow the instructions carefully on the package of the glasses and resist the urge to look directly at the sun without eclipse glasses or solar viewers that are certified as safe. Unfortunately, counterfeit glasses may make an appearance on the market.

“Genuinely” safe solar filters will block at least 99.999% of the Sun’s visible and ultraviolet light and at least 97% of the Sun’s infrared radiation. “Fake” ones will appear to block enough visible light to provide a comfortable view of the Sun.

Additionally, buyers should be skeptical of glasses that are stamped with an ISO (International Organization for Standardization) seal because some companies are now printing the logo and certification label on glasses and handheld solar viewers.

Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses won’t offer the same protection. Looking at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical devices will cause serious injury. These devices will concentrate the solar rays and damage your eclipse glasses or viewer, and seriously injure your eyes.

The best way to know if you have a legit set of safety lenses? Put them on before the eclipse and you shouldn’t be able to see anything else. Except for the sun itself.

Enjoy this event safely and watch out for fakes that might be out there online. If you happen to come across any too good to be true deals or something that sounds suspicious, report it to BBB’s Scam Tracker.

Visit NASA’s Eclipse 101 for even more information on the eclipse.

From Better Business Bureau

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