Thousands of pairs of solar eclipse glasses distributed free by the Blythewood Chamber of Commerce are being recalled.
The 5,000 pairs of glasses purchased by the chamber through one of its members were not manufactured by one of the five NASA certified companies. NASA lists American Paper Optics, Rainbow Symphony, Thousand Oaks Optical and TSE 17 as reputable producers of eclipse glasses whose products can be trusted. They also recommend AstroSolar Silver/Gold lensed glasses by Baader Planetarium.
“Unfortunately the company we contracted with sent glasses with an ISO number that is one number down” from that recommended by NASA, said Mike Switzer, the chamber’s executive director.
About 3,400 of the 5,000 pairs distributed through the Blythewood Chamber went to outlets primarily around Blythewood and Northeast Richland, which have been giving them out for two weeks.
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“But we don’t know how many were actually distributed,” Switzer said.
The company that ordered the $2,700 worth of glasses – Eye Love Cares Clinic of Camden – is replacing them with NASA-approved glasses. Travis Zigler, of Eye Love Cares Clinic, could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.
The 100,000 glasses to be given away at city of Columbia sponsored events, plus 184,000 in bulk orders from big organizations including Columbia Fireflies and Solar 17 at Lake Murray, are all safe, according to organizers with Total Eclipse Weekend Columbia SC. These glasses came from Rainbow Symphony, one of NASA’s approved organizations, and some from American Paper Optics.
The chamber’s voluntary recall includes eclipse glasses given out over the past couple of weeks at these locations:
▪ Town of Blythewood, 171 Langford Road, Blythewood
▪ Blythewood Chamber of Commerce, 428 McNulty Road, Blythewood
▪ Eye Concepts, 331 Killian Road, Suite B-2, Columbia
▪ Eye Love Cares Clinic, 2240 W. DeKalb St., Camden
▪ Palmetto Citizens Bank, 312 Blythewood Road, Blythewood
▪ The Shissias Law Firm, 1422 Laurel St., Columbia
▪ Doko Smoke, 408 Main St., Blythewood
▪ Mid Carolina Credit Union, 10350 Wilson Blvd., Blythewood
▪ Fowler Realty Team, 1040 Wildwood Centre Drive, Suite B, Columbia
▪ Enclave Blythewood, 2052 Blythewood Crossing Lane, Blythewood
▪ Kroger, 1028 Roberts Branch Parkway, Columbia
▪ Blythewood Feed & Hardware, 412 McNulty St., Blythewood
▪ The Law Office of Shannon K. Burnett, 109 North Main St., Blythewood
▪ Chick-fil-A, Killian Crossing, Killian Road, Columbia, SC
▪ Voluntary Benefits at Work
Safe glasses for eclipse viewing are certified by ISO with a reference number of 12312-2 printed on the glasses.
To address concerns regarding fake or counterfeit eclipse safety glasses, the American Astronomical Society has issued new guidance advising people to no longer look for language indicating that glasses meet certain safety standards (ISO standards, etc.). There are glasses on the market that have language printed on them indicating that they meet these standards, but many of these glasses have not been tested appropriately.
The American Astronomical Society is now advising people to make sure their eclipse glasses are from reputable manufacturers instead of looking for safety/certification language. Here are the manufacturers recognized by AAS – NASA – as safe:
- American Paper Optics (Eclipser)
- APM Telescopes (Sunfilter Glasses)
- Baader Planetarium (AstroSolar Silver/Gold Film)
- Celestron (EclipSmart Glasses & Viewers)
- DayStar (Solar Glasses)
- Explore Scientific (Solar Eclipse Sun Catcher Glasses)
- Lunt Solar Systems (SUNsafe SUNglasses)
- Meade Instruments (EclipseView Glasses & Viewers)
- Rainbow Symphony (Eclipse Shades)
- Thousand Oaks Optical (Silver-Black Polymer & SolarLite)
- TSE 17 (Solar Filter Foil)
More info is available at https://eclipse.aas.org/resources/solar-filters.