We’re not even into the traffic jams yet to Oregon’s zone of totality and we already have an eclipse viewing problem.
Amazon early Saturday issued a recall and refunds for some of the solar eclipse glasses sold on the e-retailer’s site.
Amazon was not singling out brands in its notice, because potential counterfeiters as well as legitimate manufacturers say they meet the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard.
“To avoid confusion for consumers, we don’t recommend calling out or listing specific brands/products because there may be legitimate versions under the same name,” Amazon told The News Tribune in a emailed statement.
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According to Amazon:
“Out of an abundance of caution and in the interests of our customers, we asked third-party sellers that were offering solar eclipse glasses to provide documentation to verify their products were compliant with relevant safety standards.
“The offers from sellers who provided this safety documentation remain available to customers. The listings from sellers who did not provide the appropriate documentation have been removed and customers who purchased from them were notified last week.
“Customers can contact Amazon customer service with any questions or concerns.”
Customers also received similar emails about their eclipse glasses, also bought on Amazon.
GeekWire noted Aug. 2 that the American Astronomical Society already was warning about impostor glasses flooding the market in its own advisory.
“It now appears that some companies are printing the ISO logo and certification label on fake eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers made with materials that do not block enough of the sun’s ultraviolet, visible and infrared radiation to make them truly safe,” the AAS advisory said.
To help, the group compiled a list of what it deems “reputable vendors of solar filters and viewers” at eclipse.aas.org/resources/solar-filters. At this point, it recommends making in-store purchases to guarantee you have the right kind.
Among the sites listed by the group are 7-Eleven, Best Buy, Kroger (including Fred Meyer) Lowe’s, McDonald’s (but only in Oregon, according to the site) Toys ‘R’ Us, ThinkGeek and Walmart.
“We have the certified safe ones and no recalls,” confirmed Jeffery Temple, spokesman for Fred Meyer.
In addition, the Pierce County library system says it is distributing 1,000 viewing glasses from NASA at solar eclipse events in its libraries, while supplies last. Go to bit.ly/2vWeOYw for the list of events scheduled later this week.