COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine on Tuesday offered consumer protection tips ahead of the August 21 solar eclipse.
The American Astronomical Society (AAS) warns that it has received reports of fake solar eclipse glasses being sold. These glasses do not properly filter the sun’s rays, and, in turn, may damage a person’s eyes. Previously, glasses with the seal of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) were considered safe. While all acceptable glasses are ISO certified, there is a chance that counterfeit glasses may also claim to be ISO certified.
“Ohioans of all ages are intrigued by the upcoming solar eclipse, but safety needs to be a priority to avoid permanent eye damage,” said Attorney General DeWine. “We want consumers to be informed before buying solar eclipse glasses.”
Tips for consumers include:
• Visit aas.org to find a reputable dealer. The AAS has a list available of all merchants and vendors that guarantee their glasses will block enough light during the eclipse event to prevent injury. All companies on this site sell products that have been certified safe by the authorities.
• Call your local library. Over 2 million eclipse glasses were sent to local libraries for distribution and for eclipse viewing events. Call your local library to see if they have viewing events planned where glasses would be available, or click here to see if your library is a participating location.
• If you’ve already obtained solar eclipse glasses, test them prior to the eclipse. According to the AAS, you shouldn’t be able to see anything except the sun itself with proper solar eclipse glasses. Be extremely cautious if you can see other lights or normal brightness through the glasses, especially if you’re not sure they were obtained through a reputable merchant or vendor. Also, inspect your glasses for pinholes or tears prior to use.
• Do not use homemade products or ordinary sunglasses. Simply using a pair of sunglasses or stacking multiple pairs of glasses on top of one another will not protect your eyes from the danger of looking at the sun. Regardless of how dark the shades, the AAS says they will “transmit many thousands of times too much sunlight.”
• Do not use a solar filter without first seeking advice from an astronomer. You may want to attach a filter to the front of your camera, binoculars, or telescope, but get expert advice before using them to view the solar eclipse.
Consumers who need help addressing a consumer problem or question should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioProtects.org or 800-282-0515.