TOMS RIVER – Residents of Ocean County are gearing up to watch the solar eclipse on August 21, but the U.S. Fire Administration recently warned that the public may be at risk from counterfeit glasses, which are being sold by vendors trying to cash in on the rare occurrence.
Watching the solar eclipse with fake protective gear or even homemade gear can lead to permanent eye damage.
“The only glasses and viewers you should use when viewing the eclipse are those verified by an accredited testing laboratory to meet ISO 12313-2 standards,” said Kevin Esposito, Fire Official for the Toms River Bureau of Fire Protection. “This standard requires lenses to be thousands of times darker than typical sunglasses.”
Esposito urges residents to be wary of fake solar eclipse glasses being sold at many retailers. To tell the difference, he is advising residents to check the American Astronomical Society’s website (eclipse.aas.org/resources/solar-filters) for a list of trusted vendors selling solar glasses.
“We want everyone to experience and enjoy the eclipse safely next week, but it’s important that they protect their eyes at all times with the proper solar glasses and viewers,” said Esposito.
For more information about the solar eclipse and how to watch safely, visit eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety.