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Solar Shades Recall

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We have been alerted by Amazon that the eclipse glasses from two of our shipments have been recalled because Amazon could not verify that the manufacturer meets the ISO 12312-2 (sometimes noted as ISO 12312-2:2015) international safety requirements. The product we purchased was advertised as CE and ISO certified, and, along with many other libraries and individuals, we believed them to be safe.

Since then, the American Astronomical Society (AAS) has been alerted to eclipse glasses that claim these certifications without proper testing and has released a list of trusted brands and vendors. This list was released after our orders were placed, and the vendor for the Amazon shipments in question is not included in the AAS vendor list. However, AAS has also stated that "if we don’t list a supplier, that doesn’t mean their products are unsafe." While there is no way for individuals to ensure their glasses block harmful UV and IR radiation unless they are purchased from an AAS-approved vendor, AAS says that the following guidelines can determine if glasses are "definitely not safe":

"You shouldn't be able to see anything through a safe solar filter except the Sun itself or something comparably bright, such as the Sun reflected in a mirror, a sunglint off shiny metal, the hot filament of an unfrosted incandescent light bulb, a bright halogen light bulb, a bright-white LED bulb (including the flashlight on your smartphone), a bare compact fluorescent (CFL) bulb, or an arc-welding torch. All such sources (except perhaps the welding torch) should appear quite dim through a solar viewer."

Given these conflicting and often confusing reports, we advise that you proceed with caution if you have received glasses from our Get Your Solar Shades event. Please check your glasses for scratches or tears before using them and check light visibility through the filter, as AAS recommends. If you are concerned about the safety of your eclipse glasses, consider making your your own viewer. Trustworthy options include NASA instructions for making a sun funnel, projector, or viewer and viewing suggestions from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.

Please note, in addition to the shipments from Amazon, we also received a shipment of eclipse glasses as part of an initiative from NASA, Google, and the Space Science Institute's STAR_Net initiative. These glasses have been reserved for the Total Eclipse of the Sun viewing parties on August 21st and have been verified as ISO compliant by the American Astronomical Society.

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last updated 8/16/2017