Don’t get blinded by an eclipse scam

Solar Eclipse

The solar eclipse is less than a week away and will be visible to all of North America. But big events mean big opportunities for scammers and unscrupulous businesses. With a rare event like this, it is important to plan carefully to protect yourself from scams as well as health risks.

To view the solar eclipse directly without damage to your eyes, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), advises the use of special solar filter glasses. Unfortunately, many of the solar glasses available online may be counterfeit or do not meet the necessary safety specifications.

Eyeglass and handheld solar view products should be stamped with the manufacturer’s name, address, and the applicable international standard, ISO 12312-2, somewhere on the product. The certification means the product has met the international safety standard and are safe for your eyes. Check out a list from the American Astronomical Society of brands that meet the international safety standard.

Tips to Avoid Eye Injury When Viewing the Eclipse:

  • Never look directly at the sun without certified safe eclipse glasses or solar viewers.
  • Don’t use homemade filters or substitute with ordinary sunglasses, no matter how dark or polarized.
  • Always inspect your solar filter before use. Read and follow any instructions accompanying the product and supervise children when using solar filters.
  • Be sure glasses or viewers are new. Filters that are more than 3 years old, or are torn, wrinkled or scratched, won’t protect your eyes.
  • Don’t look at the sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device while using your solar viewers. The concentrated solar rays will damage the filter and cause injury to your eyes.

For more tips on solar eclipse scams, click here.

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