How to spot a fake pair of eclipse viewing glasses -- and keep your eyes safe
The eclipse is only two weeks away, and if you haven't gotten viewing glasses, now's the time to get your hands on a pair.
But beware: you need to make sure the pair you get is authentic and will genuinely guard your eyes from possible injuries. Only a few seconds of exposure to the sun's light can cause permanent, life-long damage.
Oregon Health & Science University doctors say it's not only the visible light we should be worried about, it's the ultraviolet light or high-energy light we need to be very mindful of.
"Visible light will send brightness. It's the ultraviolet light or the high-energy light that is completely invisible that does the most damage," Dr. Brandon Lujan told KATU. "Someone might notice that there are areas in their vision where they can't see clearly or that there may be some distortion to their vision and there's not a treatment for that."
Certified glasses have an ISO logo and numbered labeling, but officials say that's no longer enough. Many manufacturers of uncertified glasses are copying those logos and printing them on glasses that are not safe to use.
"It's very sad that we have counterfeiters out there. For two bucks they can damage the child's eye for life," said Jim Todd with the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. "It's really hard to pick out a counterfeit; it's like with money, it's hard to pick them out unless you really know what you're looking for."
Todd says stick with your instincts when purchasing a pair of glasses or viewers.
"If something doesn't seem right, there's a hole, scratch, it's missing a logo, a company name you have never heard of before, or who had given them to you, you might want to second-guess it," Todd said.
Here's what you can do to protect yourself:
- Check to make sure the dealer is reputable and certified with NASA and the American Astronomical Society
- Look for the logo and label
- Make sure your glasses have an ISO and a numbered insignia
- Inspect your glasses before wearing them; check for bends, tears and holes