Experts warn about counterfeit solar eclipse glasses

We are just a week away from the solar eclipse, on Delmarva folks will be seeing a partial eclipse. At its peak the moon will cover about 81% of the sun.

Many are gearing up for the phenomenon, which means some may be looking to take advantage.  

Before purchasing your eclipse glasses experts are asking folks to buy smart, that's because of recent reports of counterfeit solar eclipse eyewear.

Rick Fienberg, from the American Astronomical Society says, "By counterfeit I mean they have printing on them that has the name of a reputable manufacturer such as American Paper Optics, or Rainbow Symphony. They will have the printing that has that name, the address, but they will be from an unknown source."

Members of the society say it is hard to spot a fake by just looking at the glasses, which poses concerns if the consumer's eyes are actually being protected.

"You won't know if they're truly blocking enough ultraviolet and invisible infrared radiation to protect your eyes," says Fienberg.

"What can happen is that the sun  will burn the retina and the back of the eye, which is your camera sensor , and that's permanent damage  which can lead to loss  of vision and blind spots in your vision permanently," says Dr. Raymond Clifford, an ophthalmologist from Peninsula Eye Center.

Dr. Clifford says damage to the eyes during a solar eclipse can happen in a matter of seconds, which is why officials at the American Astronomical Society say the only way to be sure your solar viewer is safe is by doing your research.

"You have to know where you are buying them, where you are getting them. We've been compiling a list of the manufacturers and authorized dealers that we know are selling safe solar viewers because we've examined their test reports, and checked if their legitimate, and checked with the manufacturers that are supplying the dealers," says Fienberg.

For a list of solar filters and viewers approved by the American Astronomical Society, click here.

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