Millions of Americans will watch the Aug. 21 solar eclipse and will purchase eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers to do so. However, it is important to note that not all glasses being sold for this event meet international safety standards for direct viewing of the sun -- even if their label claims otherwise.
Both the American Astronomical Society and the U.S. Fire Administration have recently issued warnings about the dangers of using counterfeit solar eclipse glasses sold by disreputable vendors trying to cash in on this rare event. Serious permanent retinal damage can occur when viewing an eclipse without proper eye protection.
To view a CBS Newsstory about the incidence of phonyeclipse glasses being sold, click here.
Only glasses and viewers verified by an accredited testing laboratory to meet ISO 12312-2 are safe to use when viewing the eclipse. This standard requires glasses and viewers to be thousands of times darker than typical sunglasses.
It may be difficult to tell the difference between genuine protective gear and fake glasses/viewers, as some counterfeit makers are placing ISO labels on them.
How to view the 2017 solar eclipse safely
Please ensure you experience the eclipse safely by making sure you protect eyes at all times with the proper solar glasses and viewers.
Originally written and distributed by AmTrust North America