(WBAY) - As the nation anxiously awaits the Solar Eclipse on Aug. 21, viewers are being warned about potentially unsafe glasses.
The American Astronomical Society (AAS) says some companies are flooding the market with knock offs that do not meet the safety standard.
"The problem is if you sell people fake or counterfeit eclipse glasses, and if they’re not safe, you’re actually putting people’s eyes at risk which is a pretty serious thing to be doing just to make a few bucks," said Dr. Rick Fienberg, Press Officer for the American Astronomical Society.
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the earth and the sun – thereby covering the sun.
AAS says the fakes "do not block enough of the sun's ultraviolet, visible, and infrared radiation to make them truly safe."
Some sellers are printing the ISO safety logo and putting it on glasses. Some are making bogus claims about the safety of the glasses.
NASA says looking at a solar eclipse without the proper safety glasses puts people at risk of retinal burns.
The AAS says there are ways to test the safety of an eclipse viewer.
"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 multiple-white-LED flashlight, or an arc-welder's torch," reads the AAS website.
The AAS has compiled a list of "reputable" vendors here:
Several retail chains are included on the reputable vendor list, including Best Buy, Lowe's, Toys "R" Us, and Walmart.